Second Year in Charlotte, NC
Wow, I have enjoyed this forum for the last several days! This is my second season of keeping and I really, really am addicted.
I have one hive in my suburban backyard. My 7-year-old has his own suit and usually helps me during my inspections while my 3-year-old wants to but is not yet qualified to "help". My husband has yet to go out with me but he's tolerant. He makes a lot of jokes about wasp spray but I'm pretty sure they're just jokes. We have a large screened porch that often houses a lot of neighbor observers. I can pull out a frame, carry it over to the screen, let the other moms and kids ooh and ahh and then get back to business. It's a great way to expose the neighbors to the bees without actually exposing them! And they all LOVE to see the queen.
My goal last year - my first year - was to have live bees this spring. I just didn't want them to die over the winter. I was (They were...) so successful that my deeps were full to the brim in early spring and they swarmed on Easter Sunday this year! My goals for next time are (1) live through the winter and (2) don't let them swarm.
Because of the swarm, I was queenless this summer for a number of weeks but just when I ordered a queen and a nuc to supplement the population, lo and behold, I found frames of brood! That was such a happy day for me, I nearly sent out birth announcements! I'm not sure anyone I talked to understood how I felt. So glad to have found you guys
Also because of the swarm, I will not have honey this year. It's getting old answering the question, "So have you gotten any honey yet???" I have a label designed and ready to go but no honey. How sad is that? Next year!!
The point of my keeping is not for the honey anyway. I am just plainly fascinated by the bees. They are incredible. Every time I go in the hive, I am awed by yet one more thing. My reaction to things is usually, "But how do they know (how) to do that???" I think one of the best parts is that they don't really need me, that I'm just an observer. I feel like I have the grand privilege of watching a wild species wholly and completely take care of themselves. Sure, I do some minor maintenance but I have a feeling they don't really need it. As long as I don't do something that hurts them, they'll be fine. (For example, I had a visible increase in SHB but when I removed the queen excluder and the girls actually went into my super, all of a sudden the SHB problem was gone.) They blow my mind.
Anyway, thanks for all the great information!
Re: Second Year in Charlotte, NC
Welcome to the forum, there is a lot of great info here especially if you go back and read the old posts, I have spent many evenings doing just that.
I am in my third year and also umm have no honey and like you my second and third years were dealing with swarms. I have been feeding pollen patties in the spring and think that is why I have been having swarms, but we shall see.
Having the neighbors involved and teaching them is a wonderful thing to do, an educated public is the best thing we can have for the bees survival and maybe our own. If you haven't already, try and get to the state beekeepers association meetings. The last one was a joint meeting with NC in Rock Hill SC. You get to meet a lot of interesting people and here the latest info from the researchers themselves.
Welcome to the forum and I look forward to reading your posts.
Just some thoughts.
Re: Second Year in Charlotte, NC
That is so cool. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm a wannabee beekeeper...developed my passion for bees over the year and hoping to move to house with a decent size yard to have my own bees without them being a nuisance.
But thanks for sharing your story - it's great for me to know my passion isn't as crazy as those around me tell me.
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