Yesterday I pulled the pin and everything is being stripped off to prepare for fall. The honey house has caught up and the amount of extracting is down to about two days of collecting. I started laying off my staff yesterday and by tomorrow, I go from seven employees to one… I laid my guys off because the work ran out, and my work load chugs along exactly the same! We had gotten a pile of work done these last two months! By the sounds of it they all want a job next summer.
Nectar is still flowing in on all my yards. Any nectar brought back now will make for great winter
food. Looks like I will bring in a good truck and a half of third pull. Some of my yards packed the late flow into my boxes! Other yards were slower so we shook the boxes out and set them aside to be robbed out and collected the next morning. I have started open feeding as we work through the yards. I plan on open feeding my hives for another week until I get all my boxes in and extracted. Pails go on second week of September to bulk these hives up. As we work through the yards, I do a brief brood inspection on each hive to ensure it’s viability. My hives look to be in great shape. I am seeing the results of all the new queen stock I put into the apiary. My swarming losses are very low as compared to other years and my nests are wall to wall with brood. I think this queen replacement strategy will be adopted from now on. Also I have worked my but off to keep these bees on flowers all season long, and as on now not a single yard sits without having access to natural forage. I think this is also paying off in dividends.
It feels good to get back into the nest. It looks like the bees could of cared less if I was around for the last two months or not!! lol
The cold wet weather we have had over the last four days has knocked the spirit of the honey flow out of me and has gotten me thinking of shutting things down and preparing for winter. My syrup delivery will be here Wednesday and I plan starting to feed as soon as I strip everything off the hives. If the warmth and sun come back soon, I anticipate the continued alfalfa and buckwheat flow, but everything away from that will start getting open fed syrup until I start with the pails later into September. The honey house is pulling out less and less everyday now, 9 barrels today making 210 barrels to date. Labour day approaches and my crew leaves for school after this week of work. Most of everything will be pulled and extracted so they will leave with the honey farm in pretty good shape. Feeding will be busy but manageable for two of us. I am looking forward to the slow down as fall approaches.