Thursday, March 21, 2013
Ready, Set Go
Yesterday was the first day of spring and it was minus 12 degrees when I woke up. I am fed up with this winter, fed up I tell you. March has been colder than January and we keeping getting more snow. Ordinarily I might not care so much but our bees are getting delivered three weeks earlier than usual this year. A deliberate decision no less.
You see every single year we have missed the apricot tree blooms and the apple blossoms. Between that and having so much comb we decided to get a serious jump start and hopefully hit the fruit trees blooming. Our land owner is so very generous, the least we can do is maximize the pollinating services! However I am a little worried about this cold spell we can't seem to shake. The bees really really really like it above 40. At least they will be going into hives with completely combed out frames with lots of pollen and even some honey so they don't have to forage right away if it is too cold.
We have been working our butts off getting everything in order. The back room in our condo has been a make shift work room for over a month now. Every single box has been scrapped, repaired and painted. Today we assembled all four hives, stacking the hive stands, screened bottom boards, brood boxes, inner covers and telescoping covers. This might seem like an easy job but trust me, it isn't. Our equipment is a mix match of different sizes and configurations. It took about three hours to get it all right, hall some excess equipment down to the basement and organize our bee yard tool boxes.
Can I just say I love to organize! So very satisfying in the end. I just love looking at those four newly painted and neatly staked hives, just waiting!
Sometime over the first weekend of April we will organize the frames for the first boxes, another daunting task. We will transport all the equipment to the bee yard, get it all set up and in place, ready for the bees. If all works out as planned the post office will call bright and early on Monday April 8th, long before they actually open and beg us to come pick up three packages of bees, each containing 3 pounds of bees. Don't ask me how they weigh 3 pounds of bees, I have no idea. Our forth package won't come until the end of April. It will be interesting to track the growth and production of the late arrival.
In the mean time we are ready for another season, set to go!