I finally decided to register after reading here on a guest basis for the last...um....year or so. I learned so much before my bees even arrived, and I learn something every day.
My family now lives in northern MD, after living in southern MD for over 15 years, where we bought a small farm and grow kids, heirloom tomatoes, rare breed chickens, and now bees. I still work weekends in the southern area, to pay for it all, and there is quite a lot of variance in just 65 miles. I noticed everything here blooms 10-14 days later here at home as compared to work. Beekeeping really is local, more local than a state.
I started with two packages from HT Krantz and woodenware from Valley Bee Supplies (I was in VA for a conference, which made it easy to go shopping) in April, which have grown into booming hives -- they each have 5 medium 8 frames as of yesterday. I made a split from one of them in May, which is about ready to go into an 8 frame, as it's about outgrown the 5 frame nuc! The plan is to make a couple more splits and go into winter with the two hives and three or four nucs.
It's already been quite the experience...my beesuit zipper broke in the middle of working the bees, leaving my front completely exposed...my smoker has gone out more times than I can count...I managed to forget to put a frame in the space left when I moved the division board feeder from the first brood chamber after adding a second and the bees filled that space up..I learned I'm no good at building my own woodenware...and so forth. Yet somehow the bees have thrived despite my newbee errors. And I've already experienced seeing a queen the bees raised and tasted a little honey from my own bees. Totally incredible.
Anyhow, I look forward to continuing the learning with all of you.
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