Disclaimer: I am going into my second year as a beekeeper. What I do for the bees on my property has been the result of the various amount of research I have done over the past two years. These days I have been doing a lot of honey bee research especially familiarizing myself with what I need to know as spring approaches northern Virginia. Spring is the most precarious time for honey bees managed by home bee keepers as well as commercial bee keepers and the remaining feral honey bees. What you see and learn here and at http://www.youtube.com/user/tokyo73?feature=mhee is not to be perceived as my personal endorsement, yet. Raising honey bees like living my life is a work in progress for me. I hope I am doing the right and measuring carefully my interventions and interactions with the Russian honey bee colony with what work best for the bees and allows for their role in nature to be fulfilled.
In Episode-57- Make Your Own Podcast And Market Your Way To A Better Life I discuss my belief in doing the right thing and in this case producing useful animals like honey bees is one of the right things that will lead to a better life. But doing the right things for honey bees is difficult to know and I have tried my best to determine what actions I will take to ensure the continuance of the Russian bee hive on my property. I have measured the goals of the honey bee colony: 1. ensure the life of the colony and 2. ensure the continuance of the species with my goals of: 1. keeping the honey bees and 2. harvesting some honey.
Beekeeping For Dummies and The Backyard Beekeeper have been great resources for me so far. But now as the critical springtime weather bears down on us I had to expand my reading and hopefully my successful knowledge. Thus, this episode is record of my attempt at “Checkerboarding” the beehive. Checker boarding is a technique found by Walt Wright in the 1990’s and my research of it has led me to believe it will be the least invasive way to diminish the first goal of the bees and continue the life of the colony through swarming. If all goes well my second goal of harvesting honey will also be reached.
There’s more questions and concerns I have as spring moves towards us but I have some time now that the checkerboarding of the hive is complete. I will soon add another patty of fresh pollen and pollen substitute. I also have to consider moving the hive the hive back into the sun from the gazebo. April will bring decisions about medicating for American and European Foulbrood and tracheal mites. Another colony will also be installed in April. So regardless what happens with the first hive the adventure will continue. Stay tuned.
Checkboard or Nectar Management
- Walt Wright and Checkerboarding
- Rusty of BeeSuite.com
- Michael Bush of Bush Farms
- Awesome Bee Forum Beesource.com