Greg has spent the last month managing swarms and queens all over the region. According to Greg, every swarm is as exciting as the first one; so as long as his bees are staying put, swarms are good fun. After much experience as a bee keeper, one may find his or herself able to tell whether a hive is doing well or doing poorly just by passing by. This skill has helped Greg keep abreast of all situations in the fields.
Greg and Dwight have spent a lot of time together. As this is Dwight's rookie year in the field, Greg has spent much time teaching him the ropes and helping him manage a rowdy bunch of ladies. It seems as though his girls need constant reassurance. Speaking of drama queens, we have been working diligently to keep up our supply of queens so that we can replace who needs replacing without additional expense. David Laferney, a partner in grafting, didn't need his share of the queens from the most recent graft, but would rather have the combs. So Greg was happy to put those lovely ladies to work.
Here is some excellent info about Queenless Bees. This document helps you diagnose if your hive is queenless and perhaps at what stage of queenlessness you are experiencing. This FAQ from Bushfarms also helps answer other interesting common questions.
Also this is a beekeepers almanac that is very helpful in keeping up with what you should be doing. This is great for experienced and new beekeepers alike.
We also wanted to link to BeeKeeper Linda's visit to the Jennifer Berry Queenery. If you will remember, we have a few of her queens and have been nothing but pleased with them. Here is one post where we talk a little about them (and here is another).
More updates on Fall Maintenance and Winter Preparation soon!