Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Buckfast Queen Introductions and the Alfalfa Bloom

It has been some time since I last posted but that is due to the honey harvesting and many other things that come in the fall.  Beekeeping can get fairly frantic this time of year!

This yard was an excellent producer this year.  The 3 colonies on the left are new queen starts using Buckfast queens from Weaver Apiaries.  I thought I would take a chance with these, even though it is quite late in the year, because they have done so well at my other yard and the alfalfa bloom is on-going here. 
New Colonies Setup

Close up of the new colonies

Here is a close up of these new colonies.  Each of these had 3 frames of capped brood and quite a few nurse and worker bees.  I also placed two full frames of honey on the outside frame slot for them. The colonies on the far right was EXTREMELY angry and 'pissy'.  The would attack me fiercely after I smoked em and gave them a few sprays of syrup mix.  I'm hoping THAT trait will be replaced with the new queen!

Last Years Colonies

These three existing colonies did VERY well at this yard this year.  The hive on the far left was from a daughter queen that I setup from a very productive Russian cross queen that survived and produced for 3 winters!  The two others were very weak at then end of winter and I thought they would die.  The cluster was down to a softball size.  I almost merged the two.  I'm glad I didn't.  They each rebounded and ended up producing about 50 lbs of extra honey.  They have 'wet supers' on them now as a way to supplement their fall feeding and will be removed in a few weeks or so.  

Alfalfa Bloom is STILL on !
My decision to place the new queens replacements here was driven by the on-going bloom and idea that we are going to get a nice little 'mini fall nectar flow' in a week or so.  The farmer has not cut this field yet so I thought I would take advantage of it and give it a shot.  

I am feeding 1:1 syrup with my top feeders though.  I am using 10 drops of   Thyme, Peppermint and  Lemon Grass essential oils as a feed stimulant AND to help with mites.  I will do mite testing next week and plan for treating here fairly soon. 

No comments:

Post a Comment