Beekeeping Blog

California Round 3 – 2021

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We spent a record amount of time with the bees in California in 2021. I think it was worth it. The January trip is all about consolidation and stimulation. The February trip is about persistent mite suppression and selective population boosting. This most recent March outing was for creating splits on a rather unplanned and […]

Beekeeping Blog

California Round 2 – 2021

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The almond bloom is well underway here in northern California. Some orchards are in full bloom, and the later varieties are just starting to open. Last week and the next two weeks will be the most decisive for determining the almond set and how the bees develop. Fortunately the forecast for next week is favorable….daytime […]

Beekeeping Blog

California Round 1 – 2021

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We are winding up our survey of the Ebert bees out in northern California. The image above shows Alex in a set of 150 hives that graded out well and survived well. We sent two other semi loads this year. Overall it looks like we have enough good ones to keep the wheels turning, especially […]

Beekeeping Blog

December Bee Trucks Away – 2020

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It is only our third year of loading bee trucks. Somehow it feels much longer. Participating in almond pollination affects our whole calendar and beekeeping system. When they live, the bees come back extremely strong and it’s great for spring splitting and early honey collection potential when they return to Iowa. The main fear is […]

Beekeeping Blog

2020. Is there more to say?

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This has proven quite a year thus far. Looking back on March 2020 and our uncertainty about getting bees out of almonds in California amid the arrival of covid regulations, it seems like one of those tip of the iceberg moments rather than an anxiety that merited distraction. The reality is that business is very […]

Beekeeping Blog

Honey Harvest 2020 Commences

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The Lynnville side of the operation started extracting a few days ago. The image above is the the first load they hauled in from the yards. Over on the Mount Vernon side of things we once again had a few equipment related items to remedy before committing to a building stacked with honey to extract. […]

Beekeeping Blog

Honey Crop Update — July 2020

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We always wonder if there will be a surplus honey crop. Average yields fluctuate annually, the exact timing of the surplus flows shifts around by weeks, and there is always the sad possibility of an utter dearth when we harvest nothing substantial. The good news? We don’t have an utter dearth for 2020! Phil has […]

Beekeeping Blog

Honey Flow Potential: June 2020

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June is almost always a time of great hope for an impressive honey flow in Iowa. As the image above shows, we’ve been running around getting boxes on everything in hopes of catching some early surplus honey. Andrew has enjoyed climbing around the trucks and making “steps” of the boxes so that he can get […]