It appears our colony count will wind up a little lower this year. A few years ago we were around 700, but the long winter has a number of the hives looking quite weak. That is a sad fact considering that forty percent of last year’s hives didn’t even survive the winter. The first round of splitting only added 100 colonies to the 2008 total. I’ll start going around again in a few days, but I’m guessing that 525 represents the maximum I can scrape together. Too many brood boxes sit in the building waiting for bees. The bees looked excellent going into winter, and my mind anticipated a summer of 800 rather than 500. So it goes. This might be the motivation I needed to head south for the winters.
On the bright side, I suppose I won’t feel quite so crushed for time as I write my history dissertation in the coming year. Some comfort I suppose.