The first year of raising bees is on our page "On the Land." We are in the process of more than doubling the hives this year and so a new page for the bees reflects our optimism. We will split the hives and then also add a separate new hive this spring. Our cover is some of the new look hives .. painted in farm implement enamel. The hive boxes are not a great substrate to paint on but if these are populating WAS it seems it needs to be done.
WAS 07/20/18 - One of our new signs. We wanted to promote awareness about drift and the negative effects on honeybees from pesticides. Our hives are on the registry now and we encourage anyone to enroll theirs too.
WAS 07/17/18 - Decided to remove the queen excluders after low activity in the supers. Some people call them "honey excluders" but everyone has an opinion on them.
WAS 06/05/18 - East hive (2017) got an additional super today. Perhaps a bit soon but better sooner than later in my book. Same with the Spring Valley Italian nuc got on it with a second brood box.
WAS 06/03/18 - East hive (split 1) the Saskatraz queen milling around. She has been elusive but noticed that her paint marking is nearly completely gone so that is no help. We are pleased to get the queens accepted with our first set of splits.
WAS 06/03/18 - West hive (split 1) the Saskatraz queen still has her marking for identification. Just over a month since we made the splits and introduced the queens.
WAS - 05/25/18 - The nuc (Italian) from Spring Valley was finally ready after spring weather delayed production. We got them in the hive with a temporary make-shift bottom board and top cover. We now have 5 hives in operation.
WAS 05/15/18 - Checked for the new queen integration and we were unable to locate them in the hive and fear they may not have made it. The east hive 2 started a back entrance and eschewed the front. We adjusted the top board and cover and hopefully they adjust to regular use of the hive. The hives are all active. Still waiting on our nuc from Spring Valley.
WAS 05/02/18 The queens were released from their cages after three days. The candy had mostly be consumed but we decided to go ahead and just let the queens out. There is a lot of different perspectives out there on on the various aspects of introducing a new queen into a colony. Since we did splits of the hives there is no existing queen in the new brood boxes where we introduced the queens. The old colonies with queens were very active since the split. See video above (or course bees responding to video) increaing action.
WAS 04/30/18 - The new Saskatraz (hybrid) queen bee is in her travel cage and about to be set in between the foundation frames of the hive. The hive will release her after a couple of days by eating through the plug. This gives the hive time to accept her as their new queen.
The queen in the east hive.
Working on splitting hives. Searching for the queens 04/29/18
WAS - 04/12/18 Bees returning with pollen. We checked the hives after removing their winter jackets (hive cozy) and insulation. The hives are jammed with honey and bees. The bees have been checking out the new supers and last year's super's with pulled comb. We returned the supers to the hives so the bees stay put and go to work. It has been a slow spring weather wise but the bees have thrived nevertheless.