Bee’s Knees

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Last month, when we first moved the bees over, we had a week of very harsh, overnight freezes. The beehives were moved from a very sheltered spot at our rental to our new house which has constant wind and very few trees. The hives were set under two of our largest oak trees between the shed near the house and a brush hedge and we hoped that would have been enough.

However, in that first week the temperatures and wind proved to be a little too much for our little apiary. Considering that each hive boasts thousands and thousands of bees, our loss of a few hundred wasn’t too devastating, but it hurt all the same. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have lost any bees.

Trevor has put off his initial spring inspection, waiting for warmer weather, as to keep from chilling the hives. If there is enough growth in the hive he may decide to split one or both of them giving us more beehives. But I think that our recent bee massacre will delay spring splitting until next year.

I’ll get back to you on that. Cross your fingers and hold your breath.

4 thoughts on “Bee’s Knees

  1. Your story reminded me of a dream I had last night. I was carrying some brush to my truck ( I do not own a truck), and a bee hive was in the brush. It was actually a swarm someone else was trying to catch in a box. I tried to catch the swarm, but it escaped. Why do dreams always sound so prophetic the next morning?

  2. Hi there are a couple clever tricks Trevor could perform to make new queens without having to physically remove bees and brood off to a box of their own. Just raise a new queen on top of each of the old hives, making sure to put space of at least a honey super (or more) between the old queenright bottom and the new queenless top, and to be sure to face the entrance of the new queenless box opposite the entrance to the queenright box.

    Or, put the old queen in a new box off to the side of the original hive, and let the original hive raise a new queen, while the old queen in her new box off to the side just keeps on going without missing a beat. Then, once the new queen gets mated, he can put the old queen box back up on top of the original hive, making a two queen system, which will greatly increase the likelihood of a good honey crop, whereas if you just split off boxes, your crop will be zilch. Queen excluders will come in very handy for both these methods.

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