As of May 20, 2018 I’m not too impressed with the nectar harvesting being carried out by my bees. It looked to be a good year back in March but with April I had my doubts. Lots of swarm captures and cut-outs and the splits and nucs I’d made did well. I’ve three hives at the home yard that I use to make splits and nucs and they are also doing well. But the hives in the two yards in the field just aren’t laying down the additional supers I’d hoped for. The disparity between new queens and old queens from last fall’s replacements don’t seem to show much difference in nectar returns. I’m about to retire four of them where the new queens just didn’t take hold or the old queens are failing. I often pull the old darker brood frames in such hives replace them with new foundation/frames. I carry out this procedure in the spring and fall months rather than limp through the summer or winter with weaker hives. It is easier to replace them with younger stronger hives. This is where I utilize the nucs I’d made earlier in the spring.
One or two other beekeepers in the CENLA Beekeeping Club seem to be experiencing the loss of honey returns in their hives as well. I hope most of you out there are doing better. I’d hate to see the dearth of honey returns experienced last fall throughout Louisiana carry over into this spring.
Though the CENLA Beekeeping club created hundreds of oxalic acid towels this last March 14th [see the last newsletter] I chose not to make any for myself and am still using the fumigation method in the spring and summer months. I’m into the second week of fumigation and will finish up this next week, two weeks before I harvest what little honey I can from the hives in June.
With this letter, I don’t have much to present. I do have a short follow-up message from the CENLA Beekeeping Club’s March oxalic acid field day and May meeting. I’d like to recommend that you to return to last year’s BBB’s archival section and review my “A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper, an annual synopsis by the month of what I do throughout the year in my apiaries.” The section on Internet Sites You Might Find Useful is material that I receive from Keith Hawkins, Nola Decote and/or the Lake Area Beekeeper’s Club’s membership – they are real go-getters and seem to fill the internet waves with lots of great information. [I usually never make the time to go search out this stuff on my own. What with fixing lawnmowers, rebuilding hot tubs, building a bee house, and dying of heat stroke I don’t get around much anymore.] Enjoy.