Saturday, June 22, 2013
Longest Day - Seasonal Update
At this point I either killed off St. Johns or should have given it the boost it needed. I went deep into inspecting Plymouth colony yesterday. All the way down into the brood chambers and determined that hive had indeed swarmed at some point. I figure it was the huge swarm I captured last weekend. Not a surprise and honestly not unwelcome either. Most bee keepers try and prevent swarming and I do as well to a point but when a hive gets as large as Plymouth colony was sometimes swarms get it back to a more manageable size and do it on their own which saves me from trying to out guess them and possibly screwing the whole thing up.
Anyway I needed to remove one of the surplus supers I had on it since the numbers were reduced and the new queen has been laying in the lowest surplus super as well I found out. So switching some frames around, taking a few capped frames of honey etc. I used the opportunity to place four frames of capped brood and honey into St. Johns. As long as the bees I transferred get along and I didn't move the queen by mistake in my near heat stroke conditions this should give St. Johns the boost it needs to get into gear.
Or as I said they could kill each other. At this point I really had no other choice as St. Johns was just not laying like it should.
Otherwise all the other swarms are building up nicely and I should be upgrading the first nuc into a hive next weekend.
I think swarm season has finally come to an end as I am seeing little activity around the traps now. Again not unwelcome right about now as I have just written off 2012 as a lost year for bees and readjusted back to being at 10 hives this year. Next year I will shoot for 20 but I need some time to rebuild the supplies now.
The fruit trees are doing well even if only a few peaches managed to survive the Spring storms with fruit intact. The possibility of adding more trees this Summer is looking pretty slim now as after checking this week there appear to be none available. Every place is sold out which has not been my experience from previous years. Perhaps another shipment will arrive sometime soon.
Mowing time should begin slowing down now as the rains become less frequent. Less rain should also allow the garden weeding to be caught up and then become less time consuming by the first of July as well. I am already about half finished as it is and with the barn mulch in place weeds will become almost a thing of the past for this season. I had to resort to heavy barn mulch since the rains also ruined almost all of my curing grass clippings.
I can now move into more time spent on lagging projects such as the grape bed and perhaps clearing and leveling the area for a chicken coop. Less upkeep and more progress. The dog days of Summer are quickly approaching.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!