So, this project took a large leap forward over the last week. When we bought the new place, the back acre was a wasteland, same story as many places in rural BC. The back half was logged some 15 years ago, and the revenue from the logs paid to build the house. They just piled the brush / scraps on the stumps, and didn't even get around to burning the piles. It was left to grow wild after that. When we bought, the back half was a detriment, not a value. In January I got the first excavator in, and we did the heavy work of the cleanup. Turns out the piles on the stumps were nicely composted, so that part wasn't as bad as we expected. A month ago it was finally dry enough to get the small excavator in, clean up the grade a bit and get drainage under control with a few ditches along the edges. This week the fencing folks got going, we pulled out the old dilapidated fence along the west side that was falling apart, and put in a proper deer / bear fence all around. Got a rockhound on a bobcat in to pick out the worst of the rocks / roots and finish the grade. And this is what it looked like on Thursday nite.
On Friday, after the folks doing fences got done stringing barb above the deer wire, we took some of the old posts from the old fence, and used the tractor with fencepost pounder to put those posts down for hive stands. Once they are cut to height and I put the 4x4's on, I'll have stands in place for 50 nucs, and space for a lot more. After dinner last nite, we put the seed down and ran a drag over the whole thing to work it in just a bit. Rain in the forecast for Sunday, should have clover coming up before to long.
This is still a new area for us, so I've got technology working to help us understand the flows in this spot now too. Hive on the scale says, things are starting to perk up in that department.
My first queens for this year are in the mating nucs, and all of the colonies we got thru winter have 3 deeps with brood now. I should be able to split them 3 ways with fresh queens before the blackberries start to bloom.
The goal is a hundred colonies for the winter, wont reach it this year, but the infrastructure is now all in place. It's been a bit of a job to get here, but when we bought the place, we both agreed on one thing. All of the 'heavy lifting' to get the property into shape would be done in the first year, not going to let it drag out into a multi year project that never seems to get finished. The hard work is now done, the fun part is yet to come.