Spring 2015

on Wednesday, 01 April 2015. Posted in Winery Blog

After a Long Winter

The first visit to my beehives , especially after such a hard winter, is about as hopeful an event possible. I believe every beekeeper must think their hives are going to survive no matter what. How could you not think that, why would someone continue in the face of overwhelming adversity without hope.

I suppose it was best that hope got dashed at the first hive as it helped me get oriented to the work at hand, rather than live in that fantasy where every hive is successful. A Vermont beekeeper has remarked that winter is the great selector. I would agree. The strongest survive and from them come the future survivor stock of bees.

Yesterday was warm enough to open hives long enough to add some sugar mixed with honey and essential oils of Lemongrass & Peppermint. This is food security until the first blossoms of spring- still a month away.

I went into fall with 34 hives split equally between full size hives and nucleus hives (half size). The tally is now 19 survived and 15 did not make it. I would say the dead-outs mostly ran out of food...a long hard slog through this past winter.

The bees that survived are looking strong. I am thankful that my best hives from last year came through with flying colors- and flying bees! These survivors will be the source of my new hives this summer. Some splitting of hives, some rearing of Queens via grafting.



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