Thursday, January 29, 2015

Summer Bees 2014

When people hear that I'm a beekeeper they always ask how the bees are doing.
 
They've heard the news and now most people are familiar with the problems bees are experiencing.
 
After losing 60% of my hives in the spring I was carefully optimistic that my remaining hives would grow and do well in the summer, especially since we moved.

We're now in two new bee yards that put us as far away from corn as we could get (which isn't really as far away as we should be.  Southwestern Ontario is heavily planted in corn for ethanol). 
 
The hives did build up and appeared to do well in spring and early summer.   I did my usual spring treatment for AFB, Nosema and mites.
 
Most of the hives built up as usual in late spring and created queen cells.  I did splits and even  nucs. for new hives.
 
But as the summer moved on the number of bees did not max out like it usually would in mid summer.  Most likely like last year they were requeening multiple times--the same issue as last year.
 
My answer for the summer of 2014 has been that the bees are okay but not great.  I must add to this that we did not have a hot sunny summer as we usually do and I think this played a huge part.
 
[Photos from The Pines.  The tall pole in the background has an Osprey nest site at the top].
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