Friday, December 31, 2010

End of the Year Recap

I got an e-mail from a work friend wondering if I had taken ill, as I had not updated this blog in a while. I was touched by his concern for my health, but I explained to him that during the cold weather, there isn't too much to do with the hive. Since I haven't updated the blog since November 13th, I thought I'd do an end-of-the-year recap, with some ideas for next year.

Looking over the blog posts for 2010 (there were 61 of them), I would rate the year as "good" for the bees. I didn't have any catastrophic losses - just a queen here or there. But I counter-balanced that with the few Nucs that I created. I started a new hive in Sutton (from a package), and those hives did well. The yearly inspection from the county bee inspector gave me a clean bill of health - no parasites and pests to speak of.

One thing which did not go well was my honey production - or should I say my lack of honey. Only the Sutton hive produced any excess honey. I am at a loss to understand why the hives in my backyard don't thrive. Even the numbers of bees was less than I would expect (based on comparisons of the Sutton hives).

I ended the year with a lot more equipment than I started with. Between buying some used equipment, a run to Mann Lake in PA (during my vacation), and constructing some items, I am all set with enough frames, etc. to handle any issues. I also have about 3 Nuc boxes.

I hope that the bees make it through the winter - I am planning on cooking up some "bee candy," which will be supplementary winter feeding for the bees. There's not much to do in the way of inspections until spring, so I'll just lay low and get back into the habit of going to the WCBA bee club meetings (in Nov. and Dec. I had some conflicts, so it's been a while).

What's coming up in 2011? Who knows! I think I'll make some spring Nucs like last year. Hope to be able to extract some honey! Other than that, we'll just play it by ear.

So if you are a reader of my blog, I say thank you. If you haven't been to my Facebook Fan Page, please go and "like" it.

From my family to yours, many wishes for a prosperous 2011!
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