Goodbye Packages, Hello Supering!
Today I sold the last three packages for 2019. There are usually a few that look for an owner due to various changes on pick up dates, but these went where they can be happiest. I had originally planned to get these packages from Wisconsin where the last of our package producers for 2019 is located, but my brother Alex thankfully went on that mission as my own bees demanded immediate attention. Between a truck that was down for a few days, a floating package date, and periodic rains, it was definitely time to focus on the production hives.
On the plus side of this last batch of packages, we got to introduce people to the plastic Bee Bus that is getting some support over the past few years. It is sold through Bee Pros and has some interesting features. The feeder is an open-faced gel that is supposed to help reduce heat buildup in transit, and it isn't supposed to douse the bees the way that syrup cans sometimes do when there are pressure or temperature shifts. It also flips open on the ends for a vertical shake rather than shaking through the feeder hole. The plastic tabs that interlock in place of the lath used on wooden cages hasn't won me over since the force required to slide them apart often breaks the cluster. I do, however, like the slots on top for one or two wooden cages. That makes it a lot easier to check queens for customers that live far from the distribution point. These cages in the picture do not have the plastic slider that goes over the top when wooden cages are used--these actually have JZBZ queen cages hanging down in the cluster. Here are some pics:
Now we have to get a lot more supers onto the production hives, though there are several simultaneous priorities to attend to as well. Dandelions are winding up, so that means we're likely to have a bit of a dearth in some locations. Some of the other yards near timbered areas can make a ton of honey in late May. . . . now to get the boxes on to catch it, if the rain would kindly desist!
Andrew showed his bee pride today, feeling some quality joy in seeing "his" honey on the shelf at Bass Farms when he dropped in this afternoon during an outing with friends :) Good lad!