Introduction:

BEEKEEPING IN THE NORTHEAST - An account of my beekeeping, not a treatise of expertise, but for friends & family who wish to keep bees vicariously through me, and for the occasional apiarist passer-by.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Activities 2012

Reviewing this book for my spring bee count. I have four thriving hives all happily bringing in pollen from the wonderful assortment spring brings to our neck of the woods. My goldenrod hive is rather small, but all are bustling. This is the first time I've ever purchased package bees...all Italian...and will never do it again! What a traumatic experience for me and the bees! Maybe because I've always enjoyed from the beginning the gentle transition from nuc to hive.

I started the season helping out at the Forest & Farm Fair booth for the NH Beekeepers Association. It is always so much fun to talk to other beekeepers. We are a humble lot....knowing the longer you keep bees the more there is to learn. I learned there about a Bee School course I had to take so all this activity was accomplished before a family spring trip, my first time abroad. The week after I returned it was time to pick up the bees and the timing for our particular area was perfect: 1st week of may. The dandelions had hardly shown themselves and now, May 18, they are in full bloom for my girls.

  • Bees installed May 4th 2012 - about 10,000 bees. Should take 21 - 25 days for new brood to start their lives.
  • Orientation flights start as their duties take them toward the entrance...maybe two weeks.
  • Queen lays 1,000 to start to 2,000 a day as she matures. Then maybe 1,000 new bees a day as the original bees die off.

That's ten days for a new 10,000 bees so should not see much increase until after the 10th day....then they should be bubbling out the hive. A super shallow frame can hold about 1,900 bees per side so maybe about 3,000 brood on each hive deep frame? Need to work on my math skills.....but exciting to anticipate are the newbies....or new bees.