January beekeeping

January is almost complete. Days are noticeable longer!

The weather has been mild so far this winter and I have taken advantage of that to somewhat temper my almost overwhelming desire to open hive and see how things are progressing. There have been several 50º days that got the bees out of cluster and flying. I added protein patties last weekend to all the hives. If they use if great and if not, no big cost. My experience is that bees will use it and that has to be good.

Today was not that warm but bees were flying. I didn’t need to look into the hives although it was tempting as I would like to know if my effort with protein patties was well received.

Just behind some of my hives is an old Maple tree. It is a majestic old beast with lots of places woodpeckers have feasted and birds have nested. Last summer there was a 7 foot black snake skin, squirrels galore and best of all, a spot that weeps sap. Today the tree was feeding my bees.

Bees feeding on Maple sap

Bees feeding on Maple sap

I have seen this on other warn days and it always makes me think about how interrelated everything is. Maple trees feeding bees in January. Not a flower in sight yet but it won’t be long before Maples supply pollen for what I hope will be the start of an exceptional 2017 bee year.

I have several new project planned for this year. The biggest one is to establishment a training out yard to teach beekeeping. The idea has been well received by the management team where the yard will be located.