Nucs Galore

by Jorge

I'm at the point of year where the nuc yards grow very quickly. I've stopped splitting for new hives and start loading the nucs for sale and raising queens. They were getting a little light for about ten days, and I was about to go and feed them. Then the nectar flows returned. Hopefully we can dodge the 50-50 rain chances that are in the forecast--at least some of them. The ground is getting pretty dry, but I really don't want to see the bees trapped inside for several days.

Anyway, here is part of a nuc yard stretching into the sunset a couple of evenings past. The scene caught my eye because of the lowering sun and a mist rising over the creek that is just beyond the line of plants that sits in front of the hives. If only the creek could have made the picture, but alas, there is no company helicopter to enable an aerial shot on short notice! There's no photography award in order, but it was pretty at the time :)

I look forward to the day when this guy might help me with some of the nuc yard duties! He sure loves the outdoors and doing farm work at this age. We just celebrated his second birthday!

Spring Bees and a Grounded Swarm

by Jorge

It takes us about a month to get through all of our bees during splitting season. Around April 15, there's really no problem with having the winter wraps still on the hive. Warm weather in May, however, can make the hive decidedly stifling when the winter insulation is still attached. The image below shows a bee beard that would be pretty excessive even during the July/August peak of summer heat. Lots of new bees, warm weather, and winter insulation can keep the hive confines a little toastier than we desire.

I'm just about done splitting, thankfully. I'm looking forward to getting the honey supers out en masse.

On a separate note, a fellow about a mile down the road called me over to retrieve a swarm that was on the ground. It had moved around his property for several days before winding up in a pile of mulch. I presume the queen is dead or injured--honeybees don't like to cluster on the ground. Anyway, I got most of them into the box and I'll let everyone know the outcome. Here is the moment after I placed a hive in front of them. They quickly determined that my box of frames constituted a far superior situation for their living environment.

Bees and Building

by Jorge

Good news. I just pulled the happy pollinators out of Wilson's Orchard near Iowa City, and the bees look surprisingly well-fed. There were a number of cool rainy days during the two-week bloom, so I had steeled myself for unpleasantly light hives at pickup. They must have made the most of their warmer windows of opportunity. The hives weren't light at all.

Here is one of the strongest hives laced with apple nectar:

In other happy news, I'm pretty much done with the garage project. I've stalled at staining the window and door trim, but we're thoroughly painted, insulated, and electrified. Many winters of woodworking in a warm environment await!

A couple of "before" pictures are shown in the spring projects post.

"What's the Buzz?" A New Exhibit!

by Jorge

Could a bee exhibit have a more clever name than "What's the Buzz?" The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces just installed a new exhibit that offers insights into the past and present of beekeeping. I offered some help with text and topics, so I've seen some of the images now that it is ready for the public. Here is the title image and the acknowledgement panel.

Check it out if you are on the cultural trail of the honeybee!

Package Bee Arrival 2016

by Jorge


The 2016 package bee season is underway! For people interested in acquiring bees for this year, there is still some space on the second load that will arrive in early May. The early April load is already stacked up in our Lynnville building waiting for their owners to get them.

After all of these years, we also finally have a nice sign posted to let people know they've arrived at the Lynnville location!

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