So the days are getting longer and the sun is finally starting to warm up the hives. This is my fourth year at beekeeping and to be honest I am only just starting to get a handle on the fundamentals. I’ve read tonnes of books, attended webinars, conferences, but nothing beats having hands on - and that’s hard when you’re the only one!
I’m lucky this past year - a buddy got some more hives as well and my splits took and produced new queens last season so there’s a very good chance that they bred with those hives. Now I pray that they overwintered ok. One of the two at home is struggling. I’ve topped them up with sugar syrup and got my fingers crossed. The other two will be checked on today and topped up as well if they’ve been strong enough to survive the winter. I guess we’ll see in the next day or so.
But it’s daunting! It’s a real challenge and sometimes you wonder if it’s worth it. There is so much invested - both money- time- and back labor to get these hives through- you work with what you have and try your best based on what you know. What will work for one person may not necessarily work for another. The old saying- ask 10 beekeepers one question and expect 10 (or more) different answers- each has their own way of doing things and what works for them.
I try to keep things simple- try to compare what folks in comparable climates are doing and go from there. Having buddies that will share with you and support you is key! Making a decision by yourself can be difficult but a better answer can always be found between two or more heads.
Fingers crossed that these hives make it so I can increase my numbers and start harvesting my own honey and beeswax for my own products.