Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?
For you treatment-free beekeepers out there, how is your winter progressing? Is the weather better or worse than usual? Lost hives? Feeding? Mishaps?
Winter here is going swimmingly. I wouldn't say it is as mild as last winter, but pretty close thus far. A couple more dips into the teens, but not the usual drops down in the single digits for the last two winters. No ice storms. No snow of note. But also no dandelions blooming all winter like we had last year either.
On the mishaps front, while I was gone over Christmas, our trampoline blew across the yard and knocked over two of my hives. They are back together, both seem to have eaten much of their stores while they were strewn about the yard.
No deadouts thus far.
Preparing for spring, trimmed three of my deep queen castle's down to mediums. I need to expand my collection of mediums significantly. I have no loose boxes but plenty of frames. Looks like it is time to build some more.
Already having people contact me about purchasing nucs. I'm glad they are getting an earlier start on it this year. Looking forward to refining my technique on raising queens and nucs. One thing to avoid this year, last year, I collected brood from outyard hives and brought it back to my main yard. It seems like most of the bees flying around ended up in one nuc. Need to figure out how to avoid that. Perhaps rotating nucs for a few days to spread the bees around. Perhaps not delivering all those frames of brood to the same batch of mating nucs.
Tell me how you all are faring.