GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!! That's awesome I'm glad to hear it. I'll second the "angry bees are the best" I lost a few hives because it wasn't warm enough for me to open them up (on my days off) and yet they kept splitting, and splitting. I went from I think 9 hives to 19, in one spring. Some of the older hives died off, but the newer ones are a lot more....... Angry. I opened up my hives a few weeks ago, and I thought I was going to lose a majority of what I had. I found ZERO signs of queens, hell.... a majority of the cells were honey. I found little or no brood. But I found a LOT of queen cells. I killed a lot of them, left a few....
I then left them alone, didn't even look at them.... I was scared. I Let them do what they know best. Well I'm down to I believe 14 active (very active) hives. Which is great, I was prepping myself to have 3 or 4 hives. But the queens I kept did what they do best, and started producing brood. There are groups of bees on the front of the hives most days now. I've settled down and realized, I'm not really trying to produce a lot of honey this year. I just want to get my bees to be healthy and to grow them, I want to go into winter with lots of food. I also ran out of supers drying to expand and grow, So I have double stacked medium hives, that's what most the new hives have for their brood/food chamber. Though I got a few supers from Mannlake, I might try to add the super below the 2 mediums, and put a queen excluder between the top medium and the other. I'll have to watch the top and make sure it doesn't have queen cells that way I can use it for honey.
We'll see what happens. I'm still learning, dad was not the greatest teacher, but he did do a great job at telling me..... Try shit out! If it fails then learn from that and go from there. I have "the bee guy" who dad learned from but, he's still a bit shaken up and standoffish with me since dad died. I'm slowly building a rapport with him and hope I can get more info from him as time goes on. He might be testing me and seeing how willing I am to learn.... So I dunno but It's not even June (still 2 hours to go
). This is expected to be a long, dry, hot summer. I will be working with my bees as much as I can and I want to see what they will do.
It also helps that I posted on facebook a picture with me in my bee suit with the hives and people went batty. I've sold more quarts of honey in the last 4 weeks than the last year or more. People want pure, raw, local honey. So I'm reinvesting that money back into hives, back into equipment and trying to get this into a mini business.
Sorry Ani, didn't mean to make this about "me", but I see a correlation between our situations, and wanted to voice support and ideas.
Fake Edit: Look on craigslist, in the paper, and ask around..... Beekeeping equipment is expeinve, but as I said I posted a pick on facebook and had a friend contact me. I paid her 2 quarts of honey; I got 3 tops, 3 bottoms and half a dozen supers (the supers were beyond repair so they went to hold targets at the range), but she was happy and I got about $200 worth of equipment for $30 of honey. I told her to keep me in mind when she talks to neighbors, and that if they don't want honey, I do have cash. She just contacted, me and an older neighbor is looking at getting rid of some of his equipment. He's willing to work out a deal with me driving up there (about an hour) and doing labor in exchanger for some, or all of his equipment.