Stay-N-Put Farms

Raising quality bees in Central Missouri

The bees as teachers

 

 

The bees have taught me a lot over the last few years while they have been eating my money and not giving much honey. This year was no different, I started the year with 8 decent hives and ended with 27 weak hives. I fed these weak hives aver 25 lbs. of sugar a day for months and still they did not put on weight or store anything for the winter. I am believing more each year that location plays a bigger part in productivity than any thing else. I have had Russian bees, Italian bees and all kinds of mutts over the last 13 years and over that entire time I have only harvested honey 3 or 4 times. The first time was the first year I had bees and they were so mean that you could not walk near the hive without getting hit numerous times. But they survived everything me as a new beekeeper could do wrong to them. Below are a some of the things I want to try and remember that the bees have taught me over the years.

 

  1. Sometimes mean bees a better producers and survivors
  2. Feed splits heavily until they fill a deep
  3. You do not have to see the queen if you see new eggs you are done
  4. Drawn comb is priceless without it you cannot expand quickly or make emergency splits to prevent swarming
  5. Healthy bees swarm
  6. The varroa destructor mite sucks
  7. You can have to many bees in a yard, especially if there is not good forage for them
  8. A strong hive can rob a weak enough to kill it in a matter of hours
  9. I learn something about bees every time I teach about bees
  10. Being around other beekeepers helps
  11. Mite counts matter (need to improve on this one)
  12. After you get above a few hives it is hard to keep track of what is going on with them all
  13. Start with medium boxes and use them for everything (changing over from deeps is hard)
  14. A deep is heavy when full

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