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Beware Where You Get Your Packages of Bees

| 2/16/2015 9:49:00 AM


The garlic is coming up in our garden and the rhubarb wont be far behind. Naturally the temperatures remain quite cool, like today when its overcast and only 39 degrees at noon. But the bees are definitely preparing for spring and you should be too.

In the last week we had three days that were either at 70 or within a degree or two. Equally important was the fact there was no wind, so I took advantage of those days to do a full hive inspection of each and every hive. It's important to know the condition of your hives as soon as the weather allows so you know if your bees need any kind of help to make it to the nectar flow.

So the results are in and I was very pleased. Tickled really, as this is the best winter survival I have ever had if the package bees I purchased last year are not counted. More on that in a moment.

All of my own hives that have been here a year or more and all of my own splits with the exception of one made it through the winter with flying colors. The queens have begun laying and there is capped brood in every hive. In fact three of the hives are so full of bees you would think it was mid-season. Fortunately those hives also have a good amount of stores, though I did add one frame of honey from the dead out hive, to one hive absolutely packed with bees. These hives are from splits made last year and it should tell you something about what a split does for hive health. For the end of January a Beek (beekeeper) can't ask for more than high bee numbers and solid stores. These are all very healthy hives!

Lets compare them to the 9 packages of bees I purchased last season. First off let me say that I have purchased and installed packaged bees for many years and I have never even come close to the disastrous results I had this last season. I purchased 9 packages because I can't keep up with the demand for my honey, so I decided to expand my business. Unfortunately it was nearly all wasted money.

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