Memphis Backyard Farmer


April 3, 2012 Bee Update
April 5, 2012, 12:10 am
Filed under: Bee Keeping, Livestock, Memphis, Urban Ag | Tags: , , ,

I made a quick run to the bee yard yesterday morning to install a package and make a split. With these two new hives I’m back to up five hives, four at the yard and one here at the house.

The hive here at the house is blowing and going. It’s the hive I took the split from. I’ve got three supers on it, and they’re putting honey up quickly. I fully expect a May honey harvest from at least this hive. The beetle count was perhaps a bit lighter, but still pretty high. I read this week about treating your bottom board and bee yard with a salt solution to help keep beetles at bay (it melts the larvae, much like salt on a slug). I need more information before I try this, but I certainly plan on pursing this as an added beetle control. Again, these are small bees from Wolfcreek Apiaries here in Tennessee. I’m really pleased with their overall health. Pleased enough to order a three-pound package and a new queen this year.

At the field I had a pleasant surprise. I have one hive there that is particularly healthy. They’re Russians, and they are also putting up an incredible amount of honey. I’ve got three supers on this hive as well, and just cracking the lid yesterday, I could see the bees were at the top of the hive, and were packing away honey.

But the best news of the day came from my other Russian hive. If you watch any of my videos you’ll hear me refer to it as my “mean” hive. On my March 3rd visit this hive looked incredibly weak. It had super low bee counts and no capped brood (though it had lots of honey stores from last season). I’m happy to say that this hive was really active, with many, many more bees. I didn’t crack the hive to look for eggs or brood, but it’s obvious by the activity both inside of, and at the front of the hive that it’s healthier. When I go back next week to check on the splits I’ll tear this one down and look for brood.

During the visit I made another split video. It’s not great – it’s kind of hard to shoot video and make splits at the same time – but it might shed some light on what I believe is a pretty easy way to do splits. Enjoy!

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