The Bee Blog
Providence Meadow Farm & Apiary started bees in 2017 with 3 Italian nucs from a trustworthy beekeeper in Ohio. The beginning was very strange (driving 3 boxes of bees home and not losing them or getting stung). Those hives were very good to us. We lost the last one just this summer. It swarmed and we think that we may have caught the swarm, twice. It may or may not be hive #3 in the winter pic, small and struggling but we’re still hoping.
Yesterday was a beautiful day to open up the hives, especially for the end of November. We had to remove the Hop Guard III that we used (for the first time) this Fall. We used formic acid strips in the past, but hated to see the bee mortality so high after treatment. We decided to make a change and since we didn’t see mites this year, tried the hops.
We also reduced the hives and set them up for winter. This year we will try the raw sugar on newspaper in a top feeder box. Last year the winter patties didn’t get used and looked bad by spring. We did experiment with one hive using the sugar on newspaper & when we looked in Spring the sugar was gone and the dust of the newspaper was piled up nicely in the corner. Bees are very organized and awesome.
Three of our hives are swarms that Rick caught this Summer. He’s getting pretty good at it, practice, practice. The lowest hive, #5 was caught 3 times. Hive #2 and #4 are nucs we got from Bedillion Honey Farm in Washington County. Hive #4 gave us a full super yesterday, it was queen separated, but not very full the last time we looked, a pleasant surprise. Our first honey in 2020. The hive still has 2 busy brood boxes to overwinter, so it should be fine. Hive #1 in the pics is a swarm from Rick’s friend who called one Sunday night. We watch that hive and it seems so busy, really busy...but every time we check it, it looks the same. 5 or 6 frames on the left of the brood box, that’s it. We’ve even found eggs & larvae in the cells but not a lot of growth.
Lucky us, last night we spun & strained. This morning we packaged enough honey to give some to our Moms and hopefully last us through the winter, just like we’re hoping for the bees. We really didn’t think we’d get any honey, so another blessing to be thankful for...
Enjoy this beautifully awesome Season of Hope. Love your Mother (Nature) and may God Bless America, May He Bless the Whole Wide World!