Beekeeping Blog

The Ideal Bloom? Almonds 2020

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Almond bloom is exploding into a beautiful scene for bees and beekeepers. When we pulled into this orchard several days ago, there were no open blooms. As the image above shows, large portions of this orchard are now fully open and enticing millions of bees to visit. Forager after forager is coming home loaded with […]

Beekeeping Blog

Almond Blossoms! California 2020

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Almond pollination is officially underway in the orchards where our bees are located. In the image above, I count six pollen carriers, though one of them is disappearing into the entrance rather than standing around with the others. The orchard with the load from Pella is in substantial bloom, especially in the younger half of […]

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

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

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

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 […]