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Spring to Winter Season 2017

Spring to Winter Season 2017

Spring Fever

This spring sees the end of my first year as a beekeeper and the start of the second spring for the bees. My 9 operating bee hives are coming out of winter as well as a new addition of 8 growing nucleus hives that will start growing in bee numbers through the spring. I now have 5 sites – Wavell Heights, Zillmere, Aspley, Kedron and Yandina. Having multiple sites definitely has it’s pros and cons with travel challenges and different volumes of food sources in the different locations. This spring has really shown me that the honey colour and flavour are so different, which is an absolute delight. Let’s see what spring has to offer.

Summer lovin’, having a blast

Liby's Wavell hives
Happy bees at Mum's place at Wavell Heights.

Seeing as I now have around 20 hives currently, what better way to test the business processes than go cycling around Laos for 5 weeks over December and January when the bees are busiest!! It was a little nerve racking getting additional gear ready before I left in case anything was needed. I ensured that full brood inspections for disease and plenty of room for honey was left in the supers before I left… and then on my bike. When I returned in January all was well and there was weeks of honey extracting ready to bottling up for the honey eaters. Phew… more than a few nights of sleep lost wondering if they were all swarming while I was away and whether I would return to no bees anyway. As my mentor says, when in doubt have a cup of tea and relax. It will all be fine. Onwards and upwards for Summer!

Winter nights in…

As we find ourselves popping on the jumpers in Brissy, so have I been popping a vinyl cover on all my hives. Still sitting comfy at 20 hives with the view that winter is coming and so is the opportunity to review processes and get gear ready for spring. The queen’s laying pattern is starting to reduce for winter, pollen is still coming in on the legs of the foragers but I’ve stopped taking honey for the next few months, given them probably their last brood inspection for the winter and will step my inspection schedule back to once a month, so as not to disturb the temperature in the hive. Brrrrrrr, see you all in August for the beginning of the craziness all over again. Enjoy your honey on your porridge in the meantime honey eaters!