Hello from Texada Island, British Columbia
What a great resource! Wonderful for a novice to find the experience so readily available to those of us starting out. A little about me:
Although I had a couple of hive 25 years ago in the North part of the province, (-40 deg. for too many days!), the experience was poor from an education point of view. I was pretty much on my own and operated by mostly by intuition, (which I am usually wrong). In the end it was the bears that shut me down. Now I am on an Island that has few preditors and no evident disease or mites! Yet...Also not a lot of forage.
I purchased a four nuc, three hive operation last fall. After a very poor forage year due to a cold, wet spring and summer the girls were in poor shape for stores and numbers going into the winter. The spring temperatures have been about 5 deg C below average so far and the blossums just starting about three weeks late. Along with my negligible to poor management skills and weather I have lost 3 of seven colonies to date and have concerns for the rest. One loss to numbers (I think we may have lost the queen), one loss to poor ventelation, and one to starvation. The starved hive was quite robust, (losts of activity outside and plenty of bees through the inner cover), up to a week prior then the activity died along with the bees. Upon autopsy, I saw they had exhausted the stores didn't get to the syrup. My delusions of an empire of honeybees is fading.
The bright side is that there is some pollen gathering starting over the last few days. If nothing else it has been a gas just watching the activity outside the hives. Sometimes they will use my arm as a resting spot and sometimes use me as a target on a defication flight, (thus letting me know where I stand in the hierarchy).
The benefit of our relative insulated location is that the few hives on the Island have not been attacked by varrroa etc but we are also self restricted from bringing replenishment stock. Not a lot of ferrel activity either.
Hats off to MB, DL, and others for their efforts and educational contributions!
I am waiting for you to open a hands on education centre...Maybe offer a BeeA. program?
Confused and delighted to be a novice.
Ted on Texada
Welcome aboard, you have found a great rescource and a great group of people here. The experience available here is second to none.
I'm originally from BC myself, we moved to NS back in 2002. Yoy get way better bee weather where you are now.
Keep plugging away and ask lots of questions. Best of luck.
It sounds like you taken a rough row to hoe, but your attitude seems more than equal to the challenge. Welcome to the forum and howdy from Texas.