Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blue Skies, nothing but Blue Skies and........

Blue Skies
The day was perfect, picture perfect in fact, to work the bees.
The tallest hive has developing Long Island queen cells in the top box.
They will be used to make new Long Island honey bee colonies for our nuc customers and to expand our number of honey bee colonies.


 nothing but Blue Skies and......
pollen.
We have been harvesting some beautiful pollen from our bees for the last week or so for those who cherish the health benefits of  consuming fresh, raw pollen. The method we use to harvest the pollen collects only 50% of the incoming pollen from the bees. It does not harm the bees and allows for more pollen than the bees can use to enter the hive, they remain happy and healthy bees.
  (For without happy bees, we are nothing.) 


and ........
green grass!

We just like this picture because not very many of our pics come out so nicely.
But everything seems to be growing and blooming all at once this spring, even the grass.
By the way, the hive on the right has a pollen trap on the very bottom. No muss and no fuss, for the bees or for us.







Thursday, April 16, 2015

2015 Honey Season Kicks Off

The 2015 season started in earnest today with us visiting a couple of our bee yards and doing some hive manipulations in advance of this seasons honey flow. The bees are already hard at work bringing in a variety of pollen mostly from maples, alder,  and elm trees, There was also a dark forest green pollen that I am unfamiliar with and will have to do some research on.
Along with massive amounts of pollen the bees are also gathering a fair amount of tree nectar and storing it in the hive to be used for feeding all the brood they are raising. This early spring nectar flow is heavier this year than in past years and will hopefully lead to a spectacular main flow during honey season!
No drones in the air yet, but plenty capped in the hives. Most hives have at least 5 frames of brood and some with more than that. The next couple of weeks leading into dandelion flow and fruit tree bloom should have every colony in tip top shape with a large population of bees to make the most of every nectar flow and put the good old honey in the boxes.

getting ready for reversing and supering
   
good help is hard to find, but we found it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Come on Dandelions!

3/29 40f, sunny, calm
 
Did a  little spring (if we can call it spring!) cleaning in the bee yards today and peeked inside the hives to gauge the health and progress of the colonies as the weather begins to warm up.
Mouse guards removed, entrance reducers put on after clearing the bottom boards of expired bees from the long winter. All equipment looks solid and functional. Food stores are adequate. Queen bees are busy expanding the brood nest and forager bees are returning with Maple and Elm pollen and nectar. Some young bees are taking orientation flights. Looks like a new season has begun despite the cold temperatures this spring.
The real work begins when the dandelions bloom and the temperatures settle a bit. That's when it's time to reverse those colonies that need it and start equalizing hive populations in anticipation of fruit tree bloom.
Come on dandelions!