Update on the Beehives…
July 5, 2011
It's been a tough spring/summer for growing beehives. We had a stint of unseasonably cool weather and rain in May, followed by an unseasonably HOT dry June. Thus, I have mixed rates of development among my four hives. Between the two I have in my home garden and the two I have up at the garden center, I have two hives that seem very close to right on schedule in terms of honey storage, and two that are very behind. In fact, it appears that I may only be able to harvest this year off the two more advanced hives. Generally, you should only harvest a full honey super. If your hive has only one super on it come harvest time (here it's early to mid-July) then you are best to leave that honey for your growing hive. Do to the almost complete lack of honey in the hive that is behind, and the fact that it isn't an issue with the queen at this point (the hive is queen-right) I've decided to go ahead and start feeding that hive again, something you would normall not do at this stage of honey production.
I had to re-queen two of the hives this spring. Interestingly enough, the one hive that is behind at my house, is one that had to be re-queened in the middle of spring. But the hive that is on schedule up at the garden center is one that I re-queened about a month ago. It's just goes to show how detrimental re-queening can be when it's done right in the middle of spring brood production.
That said, the two hives that are on schedule have done a bang up job and their supers are loaded with honey. It's amazing how heavy one super full of honey can be! We will most likely try to harvest next week or shortly thereafter. Can't wait!