Beekeeping Blog

California Round 3 – 2021

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 tight schedule to get the overall hive population where it needed to be on pretty short notice. I think everything is going to work out okay but it was a lot of work….like everything in the bee world! Having positive relationships is rather key as well. We don’t get much done on our own anymore. It was great to get an infusion of spring weather before things have greened up back in Iowa

Baby 2021 bee hives with queen cells installed!
A pretty queen cell containing a monarch that would emerge around six hours after this picture was taken.

Our first load of double deep hives will return to Iowa tomorrow in the late afternoon. Then we will be off to the races for the next three months. Every truckload that rolls back to us will need to be swiftly assessed for population and weight. Then we will feed as needed and test for mite levels. And then splitting, more splitting, and more splitting….. It is pretty wonderful to create so many new lives in the springtime. There are few things in beekeeping that are more fulfilling than watching the woodenware and wax take on the sheen that they acquire when healthy bees start living on them. It’s a pretty remarkable transformation. Then we just have to keep them alive! I’m aspiring to use the most precise mite monitoring and suppression system we’ve ever used in order to keep them healthy in 2021. We will see how it all goes.

Many bee life updates are forthcoming! It will be great to have the girls back home!

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