New Hives!

So me and the bees have been pretty busy over the past week or so.  Last Tuesday, March 27, I drove down to Stuart, VA to buy some splits and mated queens from James Sowers.  Those of you familiar with Patrick County will know where James’ is located even if you don’t know who he is.  His apiary is located on 58 at the bottom of the mountain.  He’s been keeping bees for 40+ years and has been selling his honey for probably as long.  He actually moved his house 1/4 mile further from the hwy because VDOT is supposedly going to make 58 four lanes up the mountain.  I’m not sure I’ll live to see it!

At any rate we opened up several of his hives (he has 70) and removed frames of brood from the strongest hives.  I got 24 frames of brood/bees.  Enough to start six new hives.  There are several strategies you can employ to provide a queen to the new hive.  In this case I opted for a mated queen which is the quickest method to get the hive up and going, but also the most expensive.  Mated queens cost $20-$30 each!  Since it’s early in the year and if things go well these hives should be strong enough by mid-May to hopefully produce surplus honey this year.  At least that’s the plan!

Here is a picture of my primary Apiary, the new hives are on the left side. I need to get my weedeater cranked up it's starting to get a little overgrown looking already!

Closeup of one of the new hives.
Nice color! I got the paint for next to nothing at Home Depot as a mistint.




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