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2011 : Banner Year for the Ladies

It feels like I start every post with this but : everything continues to hit on all cylinders for honey bees in central Virginia. A long time beekeeper in our bee club (the East Richmond Beekeeper’s Club) mentioned that this was the best flow since 1993 for our area! The ‘flow’ simply refers to the time of the year when the most nectar is available in the flowers. For us, it is really the Spring. The state apiarist indicated that we used to get a Fall flow, but haven’t had one since the 90’s. The bottom line is that your bees have the best opportunity to build up some honey for the beekeeper at this time of year.

I’m not sure about how good it is compared to previous years (this is the first time that I have really collected honey off of my hives), but the hives appear to be doing well. As mentioned previously, those hives that successfully lived through the Winter, but had no other outstanding quality, were targeted for honey production (those with other qualities were used for Nucs and increase.) All of these hives have finished a Shallow, a few have finished a Medium and one is finishing its second Shallow. The fellow near Hopewell (old-timer who indicated it was the best flow in many years) mentioned something about 150# honey on his hives. I can pretty much guarantee that I do not have that much honey on my hives. Regardless, I should definitely have enough honey for personal consumption and for gifts, which is my main goal.

I am really interested in seeing how long ‘the flow’ lasts this year. I have heard folks say that it pretty much dribbles out by early to mid-June. July 1 is the target day for removing honey (I purchased my first extractor a few weeks back – hope I didn’t jinx myself!)

This coming week, I will have my first ‘inspection of the apiary’. Due to the extra increase, I have decided to sell at least one Nuc this year (I am thinking I will sell 5 before it is all over). You have to have the state apiarist come check out your gig when you sell bees, so I contacted Keith Tignor on Thursday and he tentatively agreed to come out during the coming week. It should be interesting to see how this goes.

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