-Posted by Isaac
We returned home to Ohio about five days ago and Jayne's tulips were in full bloom. What a surprise for April 1st!
Let me take you through the fun, crazy, busy Honeyrun
happenings over the last three weeks: Maizy
reminds us, if times get tough, we can always eat the flowers.
So the apple orchard guys called ahead of schedule this year. About five weeks ahead! In previous years the number of hives needed wasn't such an issue, but due to the likelihood of cold setting in, I think they wanted some pollination insurance... about 150 hives total between Sunny Hill and Lynd Fruit Farm. That meant almost all the Honeyrun hives and a lot of work for me... with a deadline.
I hustled out to work a few yards and got the hives strapped up to move.
Then I decided that the best way to go about this was to establish a holding yard and move the 18 out-yards to this location (my parents' place) by night and work the hives by day.
Why my parents place? Hey, there's like 10 million bees out there! Are you kidding... I'm not getting stung.
This worked out pretty well. I had all the equipment and bees in one place. Convenient to balance hives, replace frames, fix boxes, whatever...
It sure made for an exhausting time though. Hours of sleep were slim and none during those four or five days. Slapping myself awake while driving a trailer full of hives one dark early morning, I remember thinking how stupid this is... the dumb things we do to service our greed... (Apple pollination is pretty decent money. And good for the bees to boot!)
One thing that kept me pretty enthused and distracted from the fact that I was being such a deadbeat dad was this:
I've never seen hives this strong in March! Some of these are about ready to swarm...
Big full brood nests, populous bees, healthy and strong. The orchard guys are really getting their money's worth this year.
A few hives
were even making a little honey.
I know that sometimes my use of technical beekeeper jargon is hard to understand. A holding yard is a place where beehives are held...
Ha ha. My feeble attempt at wit and sarcasm.
It took two nights in a row to get them all loaded up and hauled to the orchards. The first night I was alone, the second my strong and hard working cousin Adam helped. Thanks Adam! We got home at 3 a.m.
All this moving and working of bees took place in sort of a rush because...
We had a scheduled vacation coming up!
Cool shades, Mason.
"Dude.... break my rhythm, why don'tcha Dad..."
Too much sun for baby
Taste it, Mason! Get your daily sodium.
Five days on the beach, one at the New River Gorge and we came back to find the first 30 queens waiting for making splits. Thanks Dave Heilman! (and sister Becky for the delivery)
Thirty lively Italian hybrids in cages. Ready for duty.
Long live the queen!
That's right. Both of them.
Back to the orchards. This time in the daylight.
Monday was a beautiful 70 degree day for splitting hives. The top box gets the new queen above a double screen... to keep the old queen at bay.
Wish we had about 60 more. These hives are so strong...
The hives are spaced throughout the orchards on wagons.
Lots of work to do. Get busy girls!