Saturday, January 28, 2012

Honey Bee Expo

I spent the day learning about bees.  Our local bee keepers association hosts an annual Honey Bee Expo and I was blessed to be able to attend this year.  To be honest, I haven't given much thought to my bees in the last few months.  I have gone out every few weeks to look at the hives from the outside, mostly just to look at them and be sure that there is still signs of life outside the hive.  It seemed as if  all was well.  It turns out that I haven't been doing all I should for my bees.  I should be tapping the hives and listening.  I should still be inspecting.  I should know how my queen is and how the cluster is doing. 

After listening to some experienced bee keepers talk about bees today I know I've got a lot more care taking to do.  My bees are practically neglected.  I need to be listening to my hive.  When we get a warm, sunny, calm day I need to crack open my hives and take a peek.  I need to get ready for spring.  Apparently, my bee vacation is over.

I listened to speakers talk about prepping for spring, splitting hives, extracting honey and inspecting your hives.  I learned that free bees are the best bees. I learned that if you are going to put up a bear fence you need to hang bacon on the wires.  I learned where two or more bee keepers are gathered together there are as many methods as there are bee keepers.  Mostly I learned that I have a lot to learn.

Over the next few months I need to get at least one new hive ready.  It would probably be a good idea to get a nuc ready too.  Supers are also a priority.  I'll need at least three of those per hive before the first of April.  I'm going to do some research to make a choice about extractors and we are going to prep an area for honey production.  It sounds as if we will soon be busy as bees.


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