Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Orchard Hives Were Dissapointing

Not sure what happened with the four producing hives I had at the Orchard Apiary. I took some honey from them earlier in the year but very little. Today when I went to check none of them had even drawn out the second surplus supers and all four of them appeared light and didn't seem to have as many bees as I thought they should. One hive was very busy bringing in pollen as well. I am kinda suspecting those hives swarmed on me very late this year and I didn't catch it although that seems unusual since they had plenty of expansion room they never used.

I will have to start feeding the Orchard hives pretty quick now in hopes they will build up enough for Winter. Too late to do much about their condition except feed and hope at this stage.

As I mentioned yesterday though I got enough honey off the back pasture hives that I am not going to be short this year.

I didn't take any honey from the Garden hives at all but did put the deep Winter covers on the younger hives I keep there so I can start feeding them some dry sugar next month in case they need it. The smaller and younger hives sometimes have trouble the first Winter if it is very cold.

Tomorrow I will start removing the cappings and spinning out the frames that I harvested and then freeze the wet frames to remove any parasites. I did notice a few small hive beetles on a couple of the pulled frames.

So the final analysis is it was a great year overall but not as great as I thought since for some reason the Orchard hives didn't produce any where near as well as the Pasture hives in the Fall. I am not sure why this is but I suspect the Orchard hives did not have as much Goldenrod near by for the final flow.  They do have the advantage of easier access to early fruit blooms though which might explain why they were doing so well earlier in the year but then slacked off. I will need to keep this in mind for the future.

Where the Orchard hives are located is surrounded by well kept and grazed pastures all around so there is very little Goldenrod or other wild flowering plants nearby only the domesticated stuff.

This is a good example of how only a few miles can change how the hives are managed. While technically speaking the ranges for my three apiaries could overlap I doubt they do very much and the distance one group has to travel can greatly diminish their storage.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!


  1. I only have 2 hives, one is strong, the other is weak. I think I might combine them for the winter, then either do a walk away split in the spring, or split & re-queen. Going to put the feeders on and figure it out over the next couple of weeks...

  2. It might have something to do with this.
    Dane Wiggington's has a lot of facts to back up his claims.

  3. wonder if you have ad some hive robbing going on, can you move all your hives to were there is supplies so they all have a chance.

  4. We have not had much luck with keeping bees, and have lost both hives to hornet attack this year. We shall try again, especially after reading about how much honey you have harvested from your hives.

  5. We are apparently about a mile or more from the nearest hives unless there is a wild one some where. Some days I see bees working the weeds that I let grow while other days there is not a bee to be found. Could be the weather that keeps them away some days but it doesn't seem to fit any pattern that I can see,. But you have to figure if they fly a mile that it cuts into how many trips in a day along with wear and tear on the bee.

  6. That is interesting that some of your hives made so much honey and some didn't. We certainly did not see the bees here this last spring and summer we should have. When I can get to it hives are on our list, I want to try anyway.

  7. We had been short on bees for nearly a decade. Then my lovely wife planted poppies. They bloom all summer and the bees love them. Since we have them all over the property the bees have come back and my garden has been having a significant increase in output.



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