Losses are Lessons!
It really sucks to open your hive and see the bees didn't make it through winter. Your first thought is, what the heck happened? There are a few signs to help determine why a hive died. For example, if the cluster is small, you know the number of bees wasn't large enough to keep themselves warm. The queen didn't lay enough "winter babies" to help get the hive through winter...or, the hive had a large mite load and honestly, mites can decimate a hives colony size fast. The winter survival rate is dependent on your Summer/Fall mite and feeding management. I'm doing mite counts this year. I've never done that, but this year I want to monitor my mite load better. I'm also buying an Oxalic Acid vaporizer so I can do a blast when needed. I'll blog about that when it's time. So, grieve your loss, but don't give up. Clean out all the dead bees, brush off your bottom board, freeze your frames of drawn comb and look at the head start you have for this year! Buy a NUC or Full Hive and try again. I read somewhere that if you make it 3 years in beekeeping, you'll be a beekeeper for life. I truly believe that. :)
FOOD FOR THOUGHT FILM SERIES - HONEYLAND
Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 6 PM – 8:00 PM
Kansas State University - Olathe
22201 W Innovation Drive
Olathe, KS 66061
*Free Event - Donations appreciated!
INTRODUCTION TO BEEKEEPING
Friday, March 27th, 2020 at 6:30PM - 8:00 PM
The Lakeside Nature Center
4701 E Gregory Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64132
*$10 a person - 100% of the sales will be donated back to Lakeside!
BEGINNER'S BEEKEEPING CLASS
Saturday, March 28th, 2020 at 9:00AM - 3:00PM
University of Missouri Extension Office - Cass County
201 W Wall Street
Harrisonville, MO 64701
*$65 a person; includes breakfast, lunch and a book!
INTRODUCTION TO BEEKEEPING
Friday, April 3rd, 2020 at 6:30PM - 8:00 PM
Fraternal Order of Eagles
26433 Eagle Drive
Paola, KS 66071
*$10 a person - This will BEE my last Introduction Class for the year!!
Saturday, 02/29 - High of 62!
To Feed or Not to Feed!
Looking at the weather forecast for the next week, I'm seeing highs of 63, 66, 49, 56 and 58! But, more importantly, I'm seeing the lowest low being 33. What this means to me is that it's sugar water time. Now, that doesn't mean you absolutely need to feed your bees. It's warm enough to open that lid and take a look. Don't go digging around a bunch, just pull a few frames to see how the honey stores are looking. If you don't want to open the lid, do the "lift test", (where you pick up the box on one side) and if it feels pretty heavy, the bees may be just fine on honey stores. If it's feeling light, you need to open up the lid and take a look at what you've got! I'll be adding in a quarter sized pollen patty as well on Saturday. I'll check that patty in about 5 days to see how much has been eaten. I like to add pollen in a bit early to give them a start on that bee bread (aka baby food).
Saturday at 10am, I'll be teaching my "introduction to beekeeping" class at the OP Arboretum. It's a sold out event and that is awesome!! If you are going, please say hi and let me know you've read the blog.