Queens and Splitting Season 2017
The ordering options at www.ebertqueens.com are live for 2017. I pretty much always authorize ordering in the first week of May, but it seems like the same week feels later every year. Anyway, we're off to the races again! I've been through a good portion of the bees in eastern Iowa. The +80% that survived are mostly quite strong. I've seen very little sign of European foulbrood this year--sometimes it tries to rear its head in the spring more seriously. Mites on the other hand look worse than usual. Exceptional late fall and early spring brood rearing have given the parasites a head start on the bee population. Sad but unsurprising. Here is one of the excellent hives that yielded multiple splits. I got three or four splits off of this one. I had given this one a 3rd story in February for feeding purposes, and all three boxes were full of bees by the third week of April:
And in other milestones of 2017, Andrew had his first smore while properly perched on the stump of a massive tree:
After three years of looking at the rotten beast, I finally got it on the ground without dying. The trunk was about three feet in diameter with just a few inches of real wood still intact around the outside. It was over one hundred years old. There was old woven wire deep inside it, and a strand of barbed wire about two inches inside the bark, so I suppose it was born in a fence row and then absorbed another one as it aged:
The weather is beautiful for May-time beekeeping!