2011 – Year Four ~~~* Attentive Beekeeping
July 12th 2011
So this year I am practicing what I am calling attentive beekeeping. It might also just seem like common sense beekeeping. It reminds me of flying a plane, driving a car, sailing a boat. The tendency is to over steer and so you realize that and then under steer and then you realize you just have to be attentive to the big picture and aware of minor details and then step in accordingly.
I would say the main changes are that I am regularly feeding the bees. Last year after I installed a new hive and under the umbrella of stealth beekeeping I did not feed the bees and one hive starved to death during a dearth in June.
This year I installed two new hives. I now have three hives and all three have been fed regularly since May. I also have fed them pollen patties from Beez Neez in Shohomish Washington. All seems to be well in the hives!
I am not using any medication or treatments. A healthy hive is able to combat these issues and an unhealthy hive has bigger issues than what to treat it with. With the unhealthy hive it is a matter of figuring out what is wrong and correcting it. Medicating it seems to just hide the actual issue.
I am also over supering the hives. I figure in the wild a tree or stump or where ever the hive is located is not increasing and decreasing in size so why should I mess with all of that. If they know there is room to grow than I believe they will not have a tendency to swarm. I have noticed that they tend to chimney thru the middle of the hive. I correct this by consolidating the drawn out frames into one super and then let them build out the next super up.