THE BEEYARD REPORT
The flow started around May 12. We weren't done splitting yet. Since the bees brooded up really early, we had planned to do a round of mite treatments. We saw too many mites early on. That's a bad sign. We left the treatments half finished and put supers on. The result will be lots of mites by the beginning of August. It's a problem we will have to deal with.
We didn't have any cut comb boxes ready to go when the flow came on. A lot of those were put on as 3rd and 4th boxes. We hardly ever do that.
We had a little honey coming in until early June when the rain put a stop to things. We got about 12" in a 10 day span. It's worse to the south of us. Moving around in the beeyards us like walking on a sponge.
If the rain continues, we are going to have a replay of the last two years when we got very short crops.
We have continued to sell nucs to ease the potential financial pain of a poor crop. I seem to get a few calls for bees every week. We even had one couple come up here from Arkansas to get bees. That's over 500 miles. It plainly states on our web site that we do not ship bees but we still get lots of calls from people who want us to put nucs in the mail.
There are always problems to deal with. A couple yards got away from us and were full of cells when the boys got there. Most of those colonies were reduced to two singles with a cell in each box. Some of the bees were brought home to stock the mating nucs in or queen yard. Another yard had half the colonies decide to requeen in mid May. That slowed things up.
I had to make a swing through Eastern Nebraska. I bought a load of honey from Roger Bailey last fall and needed to take some of his barrels back.
I stopped at Drapers on the way to pick up a few things. Then I went on to McCool Junction. After I dropped Roger's barrels off, I swung up to Schuyler and picked up a few barrels of honey from Suchans. We have used the out of state honey to fill the needs of our bulk market. Our labels say "Pure Iowa Honey". Probably no one would know if I put out of state honey in the jars but I don't want to do it. We have held most of our honey and Taylors for the local market. Sales have been really good.
We have a couple signs of summer. The oriole is back and the male barn swallow is sitting on the nail outside the back door. The swallows nest in the garage but the male always sits on the nail outside the back door of the house during the night.
I finally got the yard mowed for Memorial Day--sort of. I mowed around the sticks and branches that had fallen over the winter. I'll need to do a better job before the Field Day. I'm hoping for good attendance.
Submitted by Phil Ebert