Hive Inspection–March 28, 2015

So continues a weird spring. We are about three weeks ahead of where we normally are, which is great for the bees, but it has all the orchard farmers keeping a wary eye on the weather. All the fruit trees are in full bloom and are at that stage where a good frost will kill the harvest outright. It also speaks to a long, dry, hot summer with water restrictions. Normally we don’t turn on our sprinklers until May, but the grass is brittle and dry already. Here’s hoping we get some good heavy rainfall this spring. We’re going to need it!

The bees are doing quite well. I’m down to just my one hive, but it’s big and full and laying well. I didn’t see the queen, but I saw a beautiful brood pattern in the few frames I pulled, and everything looks great. I’m hoping this hive gets really big for a split come mid-April or maybe early May. We should be just fine for that.

I spent a good portion of the late morning building my new apiary. It’s coming together, though I’m not fully satisfied with it yet. I moved the old dog run onto the concrete and into a corner. The corner is more protected from the heavy winds we see here, but it’s also open to good sunlight with protection from that late afternoon heat. It’s got a gate on it as well, which will really help protect both the bees and the kids. I’m going to line the bottom foot or so of the dog run with a screen of some kind, and then I’m going to fill the bottom with wood chips. I don’t like the idea of the reflected heat and light off the concrete pad, and the wood chips will help control that.

I like the set up enough that I’m going to see about getting a second dog run and building a chicken run out of it. I had been debating holding off for a few years on chickens, but we visited some friends a week ago, and they had chickens. Watching them reminded me how much I do want chickens.

Now starts the very slow process of moving the hives over time to the new location. It’s going to take a couple weeks to finally get them where I want them, but it’ll happen.

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