Well, we've done the best we can do for this year. We took some losses in the fall due to a lesson learned the hard way. We have learned that sometimes you just have to let go of the weak ones. We need to concentrate more on good queens, combining when we should, and management. As a wise man once said, "Our doing hasn't caught up with our knowing." We knew better than to baby the weak hives as much as we did. Combine them with strong hives and good queens and they have a better chance of making it.
We are ready to go for the spring, and now all we can do it hope. Yet, hope and change has not always worked for us.
In October, Greg attended the Tennessee Bee Keeper's Association meeting, held at the Tennessee Tech University's Hyder Burks Pavilion. Overall, the meeting was excellent. Kent Williams from Kentucky was our favorite. Here is a YouTube video of him, well worth watching.
We are looking for a good bee candy recipe for the early spring, to keep them fed and healthy till the warmer weather brings the blooms. For now, we are studying up on new techniques and better techniques for next season.
In other news, Greg just finished a course on bee health from the University of Minnesota. One could say that he has officially earned his Ph.Bee. :) Greg found it very interesting and highly recommends this course to anyone interested in keeping bees. Beginners and experienced apiarists alike could benefit from this course (it is well worth the $25).
We have supplies ordered for more boxes, frames and foundations. We have some new bees ordered and we have decided to change to the medium size supers from the large. The large are extremely heavy when full, and let's face it: no one around here is getting any younger.
One of the goals for next year is not to order any more packaged bees. We would like to get our own strong enough to divide and not require any more than what we can produce. We also plan to do more survivor queen grafting.
We will leave you with a "Did you Know?" from some of our blog friends.
A tablespoon of honey tastes about 60% sweeter than the same amount of sugar, yet it has 20 less calories. When substituting honey for table sugar, use about 3/4 of the amount of honey instead of sugar listed in the recipe. If baking with honey, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.