THE BEEYARD REPORT
An e-mail from Ron Kollman in Newton said he
had a super of honey from the hive in his backyard at the end
of May. It's not uncommon for us to get a good flow in May but
it takes a strong overwintered double to store surplus. The last
two years we started supering May 5th or 6th. This year we were
still trying to build colonies when the flow hit. During the third
week in May, most of the colonies that were lagging behind came
up to standard. Now, as we move toward the middle of June, there
isn't anything happening. There is some bloom out there but the
bees aren't working it. We need to get out of the rain cycle and
have some hot weather.
I can't believe we are buying honey. I was sold
down far enough that I didn't have much cushion left, so I picked
up a few barrels from Curt Bronnenberg. Shortly after this, I
got a couple of good orders for honey in buckets. If there are
buyers out there, I want to be a seller. I went looking for more
honey. By chance, I got hooked up with Brian Suchan. Larry Draper
had seen his honey and told me it was super good. I was looking
for eight barrels in the beginning. After hearing Larry's endorsement,
I decided to take 30. I can only haul 15, but I had a trip to
Nebraska coming up anyway. I thought I was only looking a $125
trip cost to pick up the extra load. On the way out, we begin
to lose a lot of oil but it was nothing compared to what we lost
on the way home. We had to put in a gallon of oil every 50 miles.
It's spewing out of the back of the engine where the turbo mounts.
I don't know what that's going to cost yet.
I have a big milestone in July. I turn 65. I
remember when that seemed pretty old. Some days, I can feel my
body telling me that it's not what it used to be. In my head,
I'm still a young man. As I age, time seems to accelerate. Perhaps
that is because I don't have as much left as I used to. While
I don't like to think about the end, it's necessary to plan for
it. I don't want to leave a mess at the end. At the same time,
I have to keep looking ahead. As long as the wheels in my head
keep turning, I can stay young.
I have heard a couple of disturbing stories about
package bees crashing after they took off well initially. I have
no explanation for this. Ours still look good.
Adam harvested his first queens on June 11th.
They looked really good and were laying well. He has everything
from the first graft sold. As we move through the summer, we are
going to hit cycles where the queens won't sell and the mating
nucs will be getting too large. At that point, we will start moving
brood into full sized boxes and start new colonies that we will
take into winter. Having full sized frames in our mating nucs
ties up a lot of equipment and a lot of bees but it gives us the
flexibility to do what we want to do. We'll continue maintain
a full compliment of mating nucs into the fall(about120). Any
that have queens remaining unsold will be wintered. Last winter
our nuc wintering project was a total failure but we're planning
to take another shot at it.
Adam is going to attend Marla Spivak's queen
rearing course in July. He already knows the mechanics but this
should expose him to some new ideas. Marla lives in the real world
and works on real world problems. This isn't always true of university
There is still plenty of time to make a crop
but I get increasingly nervous the later it goes into the summer.
Once I get that first box filled, I know I'm going to make expenses.
Then I relax a little. I hope everyone has a successful summer.
Submitted by Phil Ebert
Colony Collapse Disorder
Wednesday June 27 all three state inspectors
Bill, Boyd, and Delmar along with our supervisor Maury Wills attended
the 9th International Pollination Symposium at ISU in Ames.
We attended the session on Colony Collapse Disorder.
There were 4 speakers with different areas of expertise. Researchers
from many countries have been researching many possible causes
of CCD, Pesticides, Mites, Reduced forage, New pathogens and Stress
from increased movement of bees for pollination.
We will need everyone's help inspectors will
be collecting data about colony losses. I will pass along more
info next month when I have more time to check it all out.
Submitted by Delmar Nelson