Back in April I reported my efforts to rebuild lost beehives and employing a Hive Nucleus. Here’s an update on the B-Haven Apiary 2012.
5 Beehives + 1 Nucleus
If you recall, my apiary conists of 5 hives and 1 nucleus. 4 of the hives and the nucleus were started with packages and the remaining hive was started with a swarm. All 5 hives are doing well. They are all on their second honey super. The nuclues consists of 2 supers, each with 5 frames.
The nucleus has been performing well. Every two weeks I am able to remove 3 frames from the top super and use them to beef up the 5 hives. These frames are usually half honey and half brood. I just shake of the bees from the frames and add them to the hive supers. The hives seem to have no problem accepting the new frames. And it seems that the nucleus prefers working on frames in the upper super. I leave the outside frames in each super alone, thus only removing the inner 3 frames from each nucleus super.
2012 Honey Production
It looks like the honey harvest will not be as strong as last year. That’s ok, I will take what I can get. I do not like to fight nature.
On a warm day, the bees are busy dehydrating the nector into honey and the smell of honey is very strong by the apiary. I chose to not feed the bees any sugar solution this year, as I’ve found that it takes a while for a new hive to start using it. If the hive is not using the sugar solution, then it leaks out onto the ground and makes a sticky mess and attracts ants. It is much easier to let the bees provide for themselves. And I do not have to worry about keeping the feeders full.
The 2012 harvest will most likely happen in early August. It will be interesting to see how this year’s honey compares to other years. I suspect that this year’s beehives will produce a different flavor. Regardless of the amount of honey produced, I will make sure and harvest enough honey comb and bee bread for their health benefits.