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Whidbey Island Washington Beekeeping & Honeybees - Lavender Honey - Green Road Farm - Tim Walsh

2009 – Year two ~~~* Stealth Beekeeping

May 11 2009

This year it will be the year of nature. Let the bees do things their way. I say this only after trying so hard all year to make thing good for the bees only to have the hive that I paid the least attention to end up the healthiest. SO this year I am going to be the stealth beekeeper.

I do need them to build the comb out along the frames and not perpendicular to them, so I will scrape off any comb that will get in the way of extracting honey. Also, if there is something harming them in anyway, robbers, ants, mites etc I will step in but only treat them organically. No antibiotics for them. I will feed them only in the early spring , say March 2010.

Other than that they will be on their own.

June 3rd 2009

The bees are doing pretty well actually. The last hive I installed is exploring the upper supers and slowly building out comb. The last time I checked on them I did not light up the smoker and they were very aggresive…dive bombing my face and hands trying to sting me. I take this as a good sign as they are protective and committed to their hive. I have not been lifting out each frame in the brood box to check on things. I  figure that they will be keeping that one so any way they build it out is fine. They are no longer building comb perpendicular to the frames. Scraping the comb they had built off discouraged them it would appear.

The hive that I thought would not survive and so did not give much attention to is thriving. They are rapidly buildng out the frames in the upper boxes and are always the first out in the morning…in droves.

The othe hive that I installed this year is a sleepy little hive but is thriving as well. It is a little more shaded than the other two hives and seems to always get a late start in the morning. The bees seem lighter in color as well as smaller and well, a little sweeter.

The bees do seem to like have alternative holes to come and go out of. I need to put a super on the aggressive hive that has a hole in it so they can come and go out of the upper portions of the hive.

SO all is well in the apiary!

May 16th 2010

{Update one year later}

So ultimately stealth beekeeping was much more of a success than a failure. The made it through mid March with a lot of honey and pollen stores. By Mid May they were pretty low on food in the hive but the nectar flow has started.

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