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January Beekeeping – 2016

Spring will be here before we know it, so to avoid the last minute crunch here’s what we do in January to make our lives easier in spring.

Repair and inventory honey supers.  Now is a great time to take stock of your honey supers and other woodenware.  By now we have a pretty good idea of how many hives we are going to have in the spring, so we can guess about how many supers we are going to need for them come March.  We believe that supering is like voting, it should be done early and often!

We count how many supers we have, making sure that we have two for each hive coming through the winter.  Early supering with drawn comb is a great method to help aid in swarm prevention.  If we don’t have drawn comb for every box, we split up the drawn comb boxes evenly among the hives that we have. Without drawn comb, there’s no point in putting them on early as fresh wax won’t be drawn until the honey flow is underway in earnest. We make sure that the boxes are still nice and square, nail in any corners that may be pulling out, and add a fresh coat of paint if needed.

 

We take this time to start thinking about making increase.  Our plan this year is to end the season with 50 colonies.  Some of these will be in nucs that we will overwinter, and some will be production colonies. We plan on rearing our own queens this year as well. Now is the time for us to start putting together the equipment list for the woodenware that we will need so we have everything ready when spring happens.  We know most people don’t have expansion goals quite as ambitious as ours, but now is the time to be thinking about these things.

We are making plans about where our bees will be coming from.  For us, we will be splitting overwintered nucs, and rearing our own queens, so we don’t need to order bees, but if you do, contact us for information about ordering bees, because now is the time for that!

We will need to make sure that we have enough nuc boxes and hive equipment for our queen-rearing, splits and production hives. Getting all of that together at the last minute would be a nightmare.

Finally, January is the time we catch up on our bee reading, finish rendering our bees wax, and make candles and cosmetics.

Here’s hoping that everyone has a successful 2016!

David and Ashley

Small Business Saturday Sale

As a thank you to all who have helped us make it through our first year as the new owners of To Bee or Not To Bee, we have decided to offer some discounts for the holidays!

All glass jars will be 10% off!  This includes all sizes of our hex jars, straight-sided round jars, glass honey bears and 1/2lb, 1lb, and 2lb queenline jars, and all of the other glass jars in stock.

Candle and Cosmetic Making Supplies will be 5% off!  This includes colored wax sheet for making rolled candles, candle molds, bulk bees wax molds, wick, chapstick tubes, and more.

Beeswax will be heavily discounted!  This locally acquired capping wax has been coarsely filtered to remove impurities, and further settled.  This cosmetic grade bees-wax is ideal for use in skin care products, and candles. 1 oz bars will be 50% off and 1 lb. blocks will be 25% off!

Looking for a gift for the beekeeper in your life, but unsure of what to get?  Gift cards are now available at the shop!

Some items offered for sale are only available in small quantities, and all sale prices are good only while supplies last.

Sale prices apply on Saturday, November 28th

Varroa Mite Count Contest

Varroa mite count contest.

The customer that brings us a mite test with the most mites on it will win a free treatment course of their choice. Either Apiguard, or Mite-away Quick Strips.

Accepted tests are sugar rolls done onto a paper plate, or alcohol washes through a coffee filter. The number of bees tested should be ~300 (1/2 cup of bees).

Stick boards will not be accepted.

Test results must be brought into the store in person, with the winner being notified Saturday the 5th.

This may seem like an unusual contest, but through it, we are trying to encourage all beekeepers to be aware of the levels of mites in their hives.

David and Ashley Baker

Highland Bees selling packages for delivery at To Bee or Not To Bee

It’s that time again!

Tim Brod has just opened up his website for package and nuc sales! His packages will be Carniolans, while the nucs are Italians. You may select to have your package delivered here at the store. Tim currently has an expected delivery date in the last two weeks of April.

Tim’s nucs will not be delivered here. We are in the process of negotiating with a local supplier for nucs that will be delivered to our store. More information on those will be coming shortly. In the mean time, here’s a link to Tim’s bees, get ’em while you can.

http://highlandbees.com/bee-packages-and-nucs.html

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