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!!!!!