A Neglected Bee Yard
When I started beekeeping, I never imagined there would come a day when I would be the owner of a neglected bee yard. Most beekeepers never intend to abandon or neglect their bee yards. But sometimes life has other plans.
Last year I wrote about changes in my beekeeping philosophy. http://backyardbees.wpengine.com/2440-2/ When I wrote that post I had no idea the direction life was going to take in 2016. In spring of 2016, the bee yard @1115 was off and flying. I had started inspections and my husband was helping me catch swarms. I was taking pictures and planning posts for Keeping Backyard Bees. Then LIFE happened and my philosophy changes (ideas) were put to the test.
For a whole beekeeping year, I had a neglected bee yard. The girls were left to fend for themselves. I didn’t even do a walk-through to see how things were. You may ask “Why?”. Simply put, life happened. (You can read a little about it here: https://lifeatelevenfifteen.blogspot.com/ )
It is a new year and spring is just around the corner. It is time for me to return to beekeeping and I will be comparing the results from the past year of neglect with my post on my changing beekeeping philosophy to see what panned out and what was hooey.
So here goes!
I lost several hives. Last year I had ten established colonies and caught four swarms. Now I have five hives. I have managed to peek into all of them to get an idea of how they stand.
Observations so far:
- One of the swarms survived the summer through to winter. It was a small colony but they had plenty of honey. I believe I disturbed them to the point that they absconded.
- The girls are definitely bringing in pollen.
- The hives in full sun seem stronger than those in the bottoms.
- All but one needed feeding; I have put the bucket feeders to use.
I will know more when I am able to fully inspect each hive.You are invited to follow my journey to rejuvenating the neglected bee yard @ 1115.