Readers know that the writer is a beekeeper and not a blogger…while he beekeeps he does not blog, but here we are together again facing the cold winter months after a Spring Summer and Fall with the honeybees.
Ospreyland bee country started slowly this past Spring; the bees struggled to come through and the weather didnt help much. The phenomenon of struggling bees has been the subject of great conjecture, debate and conflicting science over the past year or so…this beekeeper is no scientist and at times feels barely qualified as a beekeeper but he does know some things: he had a bumper crop last year during which the varroa mite thrived, so the bees made lots of honey last year but they also took a pretty high mite load into winter–not good ( beekeeper takes the blame :(….also this year we had a cool wet spring and a very limited time-frame for nectar flow…if you missed it you missed it..some of our bees who were still weakened at the time…missed it. The nature of farm crops moving toward a monoculture of corns, soybeans is not a great thing for bees…it reduces the space for natural flower forage for bees nectar (carbs) and pollen (proteins) and the much discussed use of embedded seed pesticides is at least, stressful.
So all that said, while we did yield less honey crop than last year but we still have enough for all our customers :))
The bees were all fed and wrapped for winter months as of October 31st …this time of year always keeps the beekeeper guessing – how did that hive look before I wrapped it? was it strong? weak? weakening? did it take enough feed? is the mite load satisfactory? will the lid stay on through the winter blows? will the bears tip over the entire bee yard and make it all for nought? sheessh!
The beekeeper has done his best and now turns his attention to the wood shop for equipment repair and construction–wood stoving, snow blowing and worrying about the bees…here we come..
Watch this page for a Spring report..oh wait…if the bees are roaring the beekeeper will be busy and if the bees are weak the beekeeper will be busy…the blogger may continue to be a bit unreliable…keep the bee faith