Sunday, May 2, 2010

Avalon Bee Share Update--May 2010

Hive Notes from BumbleChick Farm
May 2010

As I am writing this, the bees are happily buzzing away in and out of their towers of boxes. The dandelions are out in full force and the apple blossoms are opening up and welcoming the honeybees to their folds.

We completed our spring inspection of the hive yesterday. This is our most invasive look inside the hives for the year. We pulled both of the winter supers off of the hive, down to the base to get a good look at everything and clean things up, if needed. The bees are doing a great job of keeping things in order, so we didn’t need the help them, except that they were growing into the tops of the bars in each of their boxes and that needed to be scraped away. Unfortunately, some of that had growing bee larva, so we sacrificed some younguns for the good of the hive.

In the winter, the bees work from the bottom box, up into the top box, so often in the spring the bottom box is empty while the top is filling up. To make more room and encourage the bees to utilize both boxes instead of just moving up into honey supers, we can reverse the boxes so that that emptier box is on top. We would have done that, but the queen had part of her brood nest in that bottom box, and we did not want to break that up. So after looking for larva and eggs and signs of good growth in Avalon, we put things back together the way we found them, added a queen excluder to keep the queen from laying eggs in the honey supers and then we popped on TWO honey supers. If all goes well (pray for a good summer and happy bees) we should come away with some decent honey this fall. Whoo hoo.

So, everything is back together and the bees are happily enjoying this beautiful spring day. As we hope for a great summer, the bees are busy preparing for winter…and with any luck, they’ll prepare well enough to give us lots to share!

Thank you for participating in our Bee Share program at BumbleChick Farm. As you know, you were all guinea pigs in sponsoring our program and none of us could know how it would turn out, so we are happy that you had faith enough in us to join us on the journey. We hope you enjoyed coming along with us as much as we have enjoyed keeping and learning about bees.

With this update, ends our first two years together—can you believe it? And we would like to invite you to continue on with us and Avalon. To continue your sponsorship of Avalon from this point on will cost $25.00 a year, due after the Dandelions bloom in the spring and the beekeeping season starts (that would be by the end of May). This money helps to fund the needs of the apiary and the needs of Avalon and supports local beekeeping in our area!!

We will be making some changes to the sponsorship. Instead of quarterly updates, we will be doing more frequent and more up-to-the-moment updates on our farm blog: bumblechick.blogspot.com. We will still include a yearly written update with your fall shares of (hopefully) honey and any other goodies we pull out of Avalon! And we will send out a reminder in the spring to update your sponsorship of Avalon, if you choose to continue with us each year.

Again, thank you for joining us on this journey. We do ask that you respond by May 31st, if you would like to continue. This gives us a chance to invite other sponsors to take your place should you choose not to continue with us.

Thank you Everyone! This has been wonderful! And Happy Beeing!

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