Sunday, March 17, 2013

Welcome, Spring!

It's been a snowy winter and, since this week is the Vernal Equinox, I am looking forward to Spring. I wound up the fall with a lot of colony losses and was pretty dispirited about what that was going to mean for the apiary both in population and in financial terms.

The biggest stress factor last summer was some unseasonable hive moves that had to be made mid-summer. 
  • One hive, of a long-standing hive host family with three children very interested in the bees, had to be moved because of a the discovery of a sting allergy on the part of the new family dog. Sorry, Maggie!
  • One hive, of a long standing hive host family with chickens and a killer garden, because of my ineptitude with the Saint Paul licensure process.
  • Two other hives in Saint Paul for the same reason.
  • A new hive had to be moved because of an insistent neighbor who refused to sign the license.
Though my long-suffering assistant and I started out early each morning, we needed to move too many hives too close in succession and the moving ran into mid-day twice, which was really bad for the bees and very exhausting both physically and mentally.

Because of the large number of colonies lost at the end of the summer, I had a lot of equipment to get back into the garage.  Consequently, I didn't get my honey extracted while it was still warm.  Feeling pretty demoralized, I didn't heat up the garage to extract, so I'm looking forward to getting that done this spring.  Fear not, hive hosts, the honey is coming!

I learned a lot last summer about organization and realized how thin I'd spread myself. I learned a lot about moving hives.  I learned a lot about what NOT TO DO.

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