Mid-way through summer now and I’m thinking of next spring. My life as a beekeeper! Always think ahead and being behind. I finished sorting through old frames discarding any that were 4 years old and some that were 3 years old. This spring I decided to replace old comb so the hives got about 1/3 of their frames replaced with new frames and foundation. I don’t clean and reuse the old frames much to the amusement of some of my peers. New frames are cheap and easy to assemble plus absolutely no disease issues. The bees seemed to do well with this, some hives pulled out 2 or more medium supers. The queens decided the they liked the new comb and made good use of it. The bees were happy so I was happy. I produce bees and the bees produce honey. What a deal for both of us!
I harvested, extracted and bottled spring honey. My “regulars” were calling asking when (if never enters their mind) I would have honey available. All the new foundation took a bit from the honey production but the comb is white and the honey is wonderful. That could be why I’m thinking of next spring. The hives now have a good amount of new, clean comb with much less disease and pollutants.
This year I decided to make more nucs destine to overwinter. That plan is in place with at least one nuc from each full size hive. I pulled the queen cages out today and things are looking good at the moment. Don’t think I moved any queens. I’ll give the hives one more week then look for eggs and larva. The nucs are using syrup like crazy so I’ll keep that in good supply. Wild flowers are still blooming but starting to taper off so less pollen is available. I plan to use my external protein feeders with a small amount of powder just to test if the bees will use it.
So the first honey is off and bottled. Overwinter nucs are made. I’ve sorted frames keeping the good ones and attended the spring state bee meeting. Next is summer mite check and control, feeding for summer dearth, keeping a close watch for queen issues and other hive problems.
I’ve got to build my Cloake board for next spring’s nuc production. More on that later.