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Friday, December 31, 2010

Final 2010 Wrap-Up

Today was a beautiful day at the farm.  The temperature was around 60 degrees and it didn't start raining until the afternoon.  Dawn and I went up to swap candyboards and store 11 cases that hold 260 deep and medium frames for the new hives next year. 

It tell ya, that West hive is the most aggressive swarm of bees I have ever encountered....yes, I used the word aggressive.  I normally call bees defensive, because that is how they react, but this hive is something else.  Dawn and I suited up to check the candy boards and see how much they have eaten.  The bees were taking advantage of the break in the weather and were flying around the entrance a little bit.  When Dawn raised the candy board we found the cluster right there, and it wasn't even 1 second before several score of bees took to flight and immediately started going after our veils.  They went after us like a gun shot!  Dawn was a bit unnerved, but held her own.  They had eaten quite a bit of the sugar, so I replaced the board with a fresh one.  I'm pretty sure I want to replace that queen this spring...This hive has been increasingly problematic since the late summer and I'm getting fed up with them.  A new queen sounds like the answer I need.

This Candy Board Started as 10 Pounds of Sugar on November 6th

 Up Close and Personal with the West Hive Bees

After Dawn headed back home, I worked in the wood shop and assembled a few more medium hive boxes.  I need to find a nice and warm location this winter where I can paint the boxes.

Boxes Ready for Painting

The Cluttered Worshop

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

End of the Year

It's hard to believe that today is the 28th of December and 2010 is coming to a quick curtain call.  What an adventure this year has been with my hives.  A year ago beekeeping was the farthest thing from my mind, and today we have a bee club in Effingham and I have plans to expand my bee operation to a total of 8 hives.  Who would have thought it? 

Well, I haven't seen the bees since the beginning of December when I swapped out one of the candy boards, and as soon as we have a little break in the weather, I'm gonna swap out the boards again for fresh candy. 

So, what does a beekeeper do during the winter months?  He reads about what other beekeepers have been doing, and he plans for next year with his apiary.  I have 6 hives to finish (assembly and painting) and I have assembled frames being delivered (don't want to have to put together that many!).