I think people get stuck on beekeeping partly because there's always something more to learn. The bees are complex, and there are a lot of complex challenges involved in raising healthy bees year after year.
This is my third season with my own bees. I had a couple of hives around my whole life, as my father and grandfather always had some, but I've only been really focused on the subject as a beekeeper myself since 2009. But I am surprized by how much there is to learn each season, and how each new insight affects the overall experience of beekeeping.
Here are some of the things I learned this season:
• I learned how to build langstroth boxes, sbb's, covers and assembled frames as I expanded from tbh's into 8 frame langs.
• I learned more about the best timing for spring splits
• I learned about other, more experienced beekeepers in the area, and did some work in their yards along side them in order to learn from what they do.
• I learned how to build swarm traps, put ads in online classifieds and met some great bee-interested people who allowed me to place them on their land.
• I learned more about the varroa mite.
• I learned what it's like to be standing at your swarm trap an hour's drive from home when a swarm decides to move in. What awesome luck that was!
• I learned about some of the challenges involved with having multiple yards.
• I began my first effort into wintering nucs, based on information I learned from listening to Mike Palmer's talk online.
• I learned the steps involved in legally importing queens to Nova Scotia from other parts of Canada and successfully installed them into my nucs.
• I learned a lot more about the nectar flows in my region.
• I experienced my first dearth in the country, and discovered that the effects of a dearth are not felt so much in the city.
I'm sure there are more, but I'm interested in you. What did you learn this season?