I feel like another cycle has been completed. All of my hives are on the ground in SC for the winter. I know that this is just another step in the on going year of beekeeping, but it feels like something completed to me.
Mike Palmer and others probably feel this way once their hives have been treated and wrapped for the winter.
How do others take note of their completed cycles?
Truly, Mark. I'm holding my breath. It's like Christmas is coming soon, and if I think about it why I'll just pop.
Originally Posted by sqkcrk
Feeding's done and feeders are picked up. All colonies are ready for their wrappers. Just have to move some 550 nucs onto their winter locations. Then it's wrap it up before snow. Then ski my bunns off. I'm holding my breath I tell you.
What I like best about this time of year...taking stock of what happened this bee season. While the crop was way down...less than 50% of my long time average, and I fed more syrup than ever before...52 drums...I feel good and am satisfied.
Hundreds of colonies with new queens and bees top to bottom. 750 nucs going into winter and my apiary built back to 750 production colonies. So looking forward to working with this years' batch of new queens. Finally seeing results of the last 6 years introducing VSH stock into my mix. Winter, the great selector, is your friend. Time for bees and keeper to rest.
Time for skiing.
Time for winter meetings and bee talks.
Time for a winter nap and a break to heal my hands and straighten my back...if it only will.
i feel a bit of a corner has been turned with the hives closed up for winter. the scary and relaxing thing of knowing that i can't do anything else to help or hurt my colonies. i am sure i'll break down and try to do something... build a wind break or something. now sunday opens hunting season and suddenly it will be january. this bow season ended this sunday and at diffrent times i was within 70 yards of 4 bulls and 10 cow elk so i am really ready for rifle season.
This is my first full year. Lots of worries last winter being my first with bees. Thougth I had lost a hive because of my ignorance but it ended up that I made a split.
In fact I made 5 splits with 1 not making it in my first full year. Then there was the swarm calls. Got a lot of swarms but lost some too! Some of the swarms absconded several times. One huge swarm must have actually been about 3 swarms in 1 group as the bees kept absconding in smaller units with queens.
Purchased 4 packages and 1 nuc. Lost 3 of the packages at over $100 each!!! Lost 1 of my hives from last year to wax moths and SHBs.
Then I started getting cutouts (6 including 2 in trees). Lost 4 of those. I also started trapouts (3). Still have all 3 of them but 1 may be weak and another one I had to reduce to 3 frame nuc because of the SHBs. I will check them out tomorrow.
Also got calls for trap outs (3). Still have all of them but 1 may have to be combined or give extra bees.
Still have 3 colonies that are in nucs but I plan on trying to put 2 of them in 8-frame boxes and the 3-frame into a 5 frame nuc.
I probably spent close to $2K and at the moment only have 13 pints of honey to show for it (honey from cutouts) though I did get paid for the cutouts. Have no idea how much money I have spent on sugar so far this year but it's a huge amount! Had to purchase a lot of frames, boxes, ICs, OCs, and BBs or make some. Was given some woodware but most of it I either made or purchased.
SHBs have been a nightmare this year for me but I have learned a lot and still have a lot of SHBs in my hives. Checked 3 hives today and all were full of SHBs but I dusted the ground before it rained a couple of days ago so hopefully any in the ground or larva going into the ground will die.
I did pull 17 frames off 2 of the 3 hives I checked today. This will be my first honey from my hives. Hope to get some more but I have to ensure that all of the hives will have enough stores for the winter or have SW top feeders on them.
So I started the year with 4 hives, purchased 4 packages and 1 nuc, and had 5 splits. Lost 3 packages and 1 of the splits and 1 hive from last year. As I said I got a lot of swarms, have 3 trapouts and 1 cutout.
With all of my gains mentioned above and my losses, I am up from 4 colonies to 23.
I have worked my butt off and did a lot of fretting and pulling out my hair because I was going by the seat of my pants. Had no comb to carry over this year for supers so everything was from scratch. Goodness knows how many times I pulled brood frames from hives to boost other hives or requeen with eggs.
I hope that by the middle of Nov I will know where I stand with my colonies and then sit back till next March.
I plan on reading more and fixing up or building some new equipment when the days are warm enough. (Don't have a heater in my workshop.)
Hope to build my extractor. I now have the 55 gallon drum with the bottom cut out of it (top will be the bottom) and have the 2 bike rims. Now I need to get the extra stuff to actually make the extractor.
Having said all of the above, I don't know where the year went. I started the ground running in March and never let up and now its almost winter!!!
I just want 1 month to call my own and not do anything as a beek other than reading and going to the meetings.
BTW, I already have 1 tree lined up to be cut down next spring to remove a large hive and 2 cutouts in trees. I don't want to grow so fast this coming year. I don't think I could add another 19 hives next year and be sane. Think I will sell some of the swarms to help me out financially. Won't charge a lot. I figure $50 for a swarm is fair.
Talk about a learning curve!!!!!!!!
But I thank all of my fellow beeks on this site for coming to my aide. Between reading and asking for help, ya'll got me through this far!!
THANKS A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!