Beekeeping Blog

Last Load Out! 2019

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Yesterday we sent out the last truckload of hives for this year. They embarked on their trip to California several days later than anticipated due to more excitement with the weather and a small mechanical issue on the truck we hired. Hopefully those challenges don’t resurface on the way out to northern Cal. We were […]

Beekeeping Blog

One More Load of Bees 2019

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Andrew came out to weave in and out among the hives while we got them stacked for the last truck. I spotted him driving around on the John Deere power wheel tractor tossing something into the hayfield. It was a bag of old English walnuts that he was “planting” for next year! It will take […]

Beekeeping Blog

Pella Bees Away!

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The central Iowa bees were all gathered at our Pella location and loaded for California last week. It is exciting to send a load from the area where our bee business had its birth. The image at the top of the post shows how they looked staged for the truck. They are stacked three pallets […]

Beekeeping Blog

Bees on the Road 2019

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We got our first truckload of bees on the road last week. We are getting better at handling them as we get more experienced. It still seems somewhat out of body that we are in the almond pollination picture. We resisted going that direction for quite a few years before deciding it was a crucial […]

Beekeeping Blog

The Great Bee Roundup 2019

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The bee roundup has involved forging through early snow. The forecast proved extremely accurate for a change. Both snowfalls mentioned in the last post actually occurred in roughly the amounts predicted. The last round dropped around four inches. A couple of days ago it drizzled enough rain to melt off the snow. Now I need […]

Beekeeping Blog

Autumn Sunset and Snowfalls

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Last night we had one of the prettiest sunsets of the year. The Iowa skies have proven exceptionally colorful, but yesterday evening the air seemed to glow all around. The image above shows the last moments before nightfall. The pressure is mounting as the temperature prepares to plunge, two snowfalls are forecast for this week, […]

Beekeeping Blog

Fall Updates 2019

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The bees are still shaping up well for fall 2019. It looks like primary caretaking should be finished in roughly one week, and then there will be a little cleanup duty followed by the great bee roundup. Feed and mite control continue to be the main points of focus. Fortunately the bees are putting on […]

Beekeeping Blog

Autumn Chill and Indoor Action 2019

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This week we spent a couple of days organizing our indoor bee life. The intro image shows the process of packing away the honey boxes now that the temperature has fallen enough to deter wax moths. It feels strange to be paying attention to buttoning up for winter after so many months concentrated on squeezing […]

Beekeeping Blog

Fall Feeding 2019

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Fall feeding requirements have been inconsistent from yard to yard. We have a good number of hives down in Muscatine county and a similar number near Kalona. It’s a roughly forty minute drive between them. They were all two-deep doubles through the honey season. The inspection schedule between all of these locations for harvest, mite […]

Beekeeping Blog

The Mite Fright (and Fight).

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The image above is the last yard we harvested in 2019, and we always give a mite treatment on the day of harvest. It’s a time when the hives are already open, and it’s essential to get the sequence underway as quickly as possible in late summer. These particular hives were all singles that weren’t […]