It's almost over now

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Mama Beek, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    2010 is all but behind us now and I was wondering if anyone besides me is doing the annual assessment. You know, the one where you sit and think about all the stuff that you would have done differently. I'm curious, and have a tiny bit more time on my hands now than I have in the last several months so I thought I would ask..... what would you have done differently in your bee yards this year, what will you do differently next year, and what will you do the same next year because it worked well for you?

    Since I'm the nosy one I'll go first, but be warned that the kids may have very different ideas than I do about the bee yard!

    - We had to leave right before the spring flow began and couldn't get back for almost 2 months :( That means that we totally missed most of the opportunity that we had at the beginning of the year to make splits (the early ones are the ones that seem to do best for us). We also missed time to put supers on and catch the swarms that our hives were throwing. So our entire spring management system this year was absent because we were .....um, absent. Definitely hope to change that this year!

    1-Being gone in the spring also managed to throw us off kilter for the summer (and then were gone for another month too!) and as a result of not getting right on top of things with the bees we had two hives struggle with a heavy mite load for the last half of the season. We managed to keep the hives going and get them built back up now, but it chaps my backside in the worst way that it happened to begin with!

    For next year I'm hoping that we'll get back on schedule with regular inspections and be more alert for problems, also implement some things that will lessen the probability for mite trouble such as: Requeen EVERY hive with Wayne's bees, make equipment changes where necessary, and be more proactive in maintenance (comb rotation, brood disruption, etc.). We are still really studying and trying to learn all we can about the many different methods of mite control.... there are so many different schools of thought on this, and more people studying and putting info out all the time so it's really ALOT for this old gal to take in sometimes.

    2- Our honey harvest really suffered this year too :cry: Just plain old bad management to blame.... same reasons as everything else, but there has to be a way that we could have done something different to improve that situation. I'm reading and thinking and studying on that one, but I'm still not sure what we could have or should have done about that.

    3- Our plans for increasing our hives fell through as well. We were gone and then had the mite issues and by the time everything was beginning to straighten out I did not feel right making splits. Lord willing and we can keep our heads on straight next year we will be making splits right off the bat as early as possible. The kids would like to at least double our hive count by this time next year, I think that if they are ambitious and really study it carefully that they could reasonably see more than that.

    4- We had planned to get busy again making soaps and salves and the like again but 2010 has been just awful for our entire family and we never had the time. Me and WBB may get to that this winter yet, but I'm not holding my breath!

    5- We had hoped to be getting busy this year with some cutouts and trap outs but with all the busyness of family life and interstate family life we never did. We did get a bee tree though so I guess I can't pout too much ;)

    6- Equipment! We had hoped to get more of the woodenware we have cleaned well, painted, and sprayed with BT....but you already know the story. I think winter may work for a lot of that too. The kids want/need nuc boxes (for splits and swarms this year) so they will just have to put their heads together (peacefully) and figure out how to make that happen. Some of the boxes we have are old and cracking, so they need to go through every box, bottom board, and cover and see what needs fixing and fix it, I'll supply the nails and paint and if they can do it without fighting the cookies.

    I know there are a million other things .... and I'll probably remember all of them at about 4 this morning :ranting: But I'll stop for now. So what do y'all have to say?
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    bein' self appointed as god's most imperfect beekeeper this year was just about as imperfect a year as I could ever hope for...
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    One never seems to accomplish what one sets out to do!

    I did not do my first inspection until very late this year, so I was unable to rotate out frames. I've still got a few cut-out frames in one box! Need to do better.

    I was also unprepared for swarms. I watched a good-sized one from my own hive fly away. I think they were overcrowded - again, my fault!

    As for making soaps and salves... well that never happened either! Wanted to try soap making for the first time. And I've been out of Comfrey cream for a year! Luckily I did dry some, so I will hopefully get to it some day.
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Wanting to make splits and raise a few queens next spring, hurt my back in the spring this year at the most inopportune time.

    Hoping to get more swarm and cut out calls, two or three cut outs, one swarm (from my hive), and one bee tree (gave it away to another beginning beek).
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Hobie writes:
    I was also unprepared for swarms

    tecumseh:
    that is always how it has been for me and over time I have come believe that is just fine. sometime you swing for the fence and you hit a home run and at other time you strike out.
     
  6. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I plan on building 20 of the five frame plywood nucs, hopefully for swarms and splits. I had forgotten about a stack of 1/2" plywood that was stashed in the barn I had salvaged from a job ten years ago.
     
  7. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    I have a lot of plans for the coming year, just as I had for this one. Matter of fact when I think about it they are the same ones I had for this year.

    Definitely going to order 5 new Queens so I can get built back up again.

    Oh, bees were bring in a lot of white pollen yesterday, 11-17-2010, South Central Mo.

    Murrell
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Well, I did accomplish what i set out to do this year, and that is to start from scratch again and build up my two Spring nucs into two double-deep strong healthy hives, ready to go into this winter.
    I didn't get any honey this year, but then I didn't really expect to, especially since I didn't feed the nucs at all after their very first two weeks. This Fall they did manage to put away what I feel is plenty of honey for the winter. So, the 2 nucs spent their year filling up their two deeps each and settling in as real hives.

    I'm hoping to pull a couple frames from each hive in the Spring and start a third hive from that, and also I have one more new nuc coming next Spring (just to cover my bases in case, Heaven forbid, both hives die over the winter). The plan is to have four hives next year, plus help my friend and neighbor with his first hive as well. :)
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    After checking and combining my 60 hives, i now have 45 hives going into winter.They are so heavy i can hardly budge them off there stands, we had a good aster flow this fall and i should have taken some honey off, i like the taste of aster honey and have customers ask for it. But with winterizing truck garden equipment, tractors, working cattle and going to four of the five grandchildern's ball games there wasn't enough time. Jack