January Beekeeping

There was a feeling of Spring in the air yesterday. Temperatures climbed to a high 56 degrees, the sun was shining, it was wonderful. With the feelings of Spring, the need and desire for Spring cleaning presented itself. I believe there are now lists for organizing almost every room in the house, for preparing the garden, for getting everything in good working order.

I was in the middle of cleaning my room when I realized it was 56 degrees. And sunny. And no wind whatsoever. And I still had brood builder patties to put in my beehive, just to ensure that they don’t starve to death before there is blooming in the world.

You can imagine my extreme joy when I peeled off the outer and inner covers, hearing the buzzing. Feeling the warmth. A few little honeybees had ventured out into the fresh air and they were not happy with my presence. My bees survived a week of single digit temperatures. A whole week. In nothing but a box. That never ceases to amaze me. Spring isn’t here yet, but they’ve made it to the halfway point and that is a miracle to this first-year beekeeper.

I have plans to add two more hives to my bee yard this year. I’m looking into making a top bar hive and a Warre hive and collecting two different breeds. I have Italians in a Langstroth hive right now, but I’d really like to have some Russians and some Carniolans. I want to try all of the hives and all of the bees before deciding which ones I like the best, so this year the experiments will continue.

Currently reading and highly recommending:

Beekeeping: A Seasonal Guide by Ron Brown
The Thinking Beekeeper: A Guide to Natural Beekeeping in Top-Bar Hives by Christy Hemenway
Top-Bar Beekeeping by Les Crowder and Heather Harrell

 

 

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