2019 First Hive Inspection: Is All Hope Lost?

The sky was clear and the temperature reached a pleasant 62F. The Henbit Deadnettle had even begun to bloom. The perfect day to see if my bees had survived the winter (and my experimental winter preparations).

As I left the house, I felt as if I would vomit. Every plan I have for the next 5 years hinges on ending this year with 100 hives – and to do that, I need at least 13 hives to have survived the winter.

By the time I reached the apiary, I was already bargaining with myself, “I don’t have to have 13 hives. If there are two hives… I could work with just two hives.

“The most important day of the year, the day that makes or breaks our fortunes” – Don Pedro, A Walk In The Clouds.

I won’t keep you in suspense. Of the 16 Hives and 1 Nuc at Dr. D’s place, 14 Hives survived. I haven’t checked the hive at the old farm but I am confident it is fine.

All of the Hive Beetle Traps I used at the end of winter seems to have paid off. So for the rest of the year, every hive will have a Swiffer Sheet, A Beetle Blaster trap, and a Don the Fat Bee Man sign trap in them. Total cost will be about $2 per hive but it’s a worthwhile expense.

Those 15 hives will be split in March to make 30 (or more, since several of the hives are quite large). In May: 30 will split into 60. Then July: 60 will split into 120.

I think with the early spring and the lessons I have learned, this is not an overly ambitious plan.

Now back to the wood shop… I’VE GOT HIVES TO BUILD!

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