Last week, I was off to the Country Living Fair Nashville. I had a blast speaking about backyard chickens and beekeeping. I got to meet lots of peeps and sign a bunch of my books too! I just adore going to these fairs because to me, it is like a little slice of heaven. The people at the Country Living Fairs are sweet and kind and make you feel good about the world we are in. It is country living for sure, just like the pages of the magazine come to life.
I’m now headed into my 5th year of beekeeping. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite beekeeping tips. Over the years, I’ve learned quite a lot and have had plenty of successes and failures. Some of those were expected and some of those were unexpected. That seems to be the course for keeping bees nowadays. These days it’s not an easy venture, as so many things can affect what happens inside the hive. Today, I thought it would be good to share my top beekeeping tips that I think every newbie should tuck in their back pocket. These tips range from keeping the hives healthy, saving money and learning how to help amazing insects.
As beekeepers, there come times when we need to feed our bees or offer them up reserves to help them get through dearths and winter. New colonies should be fed so that they can quickly build out new comb for the queen to lay and for them to store their foraged pollen and nectar. Existing colonies also require feeding, especially a back up method to help ensure their winter survival. Today I thought that I would place these all recipes in one place for you to easily find them.
|Activity in front of Willow but none in front of Briar.|
I had a bad feeling going into winter with the Briar hive. The hive should have been re-queened as they had many issues last season. But sadly, there were no queens available due to the unexpected large death of so many bee hives across the United States. Last year, the US lost about 30 percent of all the existing hives. So I crossed my fingers that they would survive until spring, when I could requeen.
This past Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending my very first hive opening with our local beekeeping association. Last Winter, I took their beekeeping course and today, I was getting a close up look at two new bee hives started from packages 4 weeks ago. Hive openings are best when the weather is around 60 degrees, sunny and in the afternoon when most of the bees are out scavenging the area for pollen sources. Opening the hive is critical, especially after transferring your bees. This should be done weekly until they have filled out two deep supers (for Winter survival on Cape Cod) and you have added your first shallow super (honey collector).