Beekeeping association in January

Well, depths of winter – temps below freezing – snow all over. What’s a bee club to do?

We meet – we spread the word – we plan. We help folks get started. Now is the time!

We had near 35 people show up last night. Best attendance ever! We also arranged for a group order of packages. Discounts and convenience. Did some basic introductions of material and faces. Folks are excited! Last count, we had around 30 packages to order up and bring to Casper. We’re gonna be busy.

However, must remember to finish the OA vaporizors for next month! Need to have at least 2 ready (note to self).

Also, my endoscopic camera arrived. Time to get it trialed up and maybe build a Raspberry Pi/WiFi interface so I can watch a hive full time, online.

And, of course – now is the time to count frames, check wooden ware, pain (if warm enough), get things ready for when those packages arrive. Don’t forget feeders!

A new beginning…

Well, the first year of keeping bees in Casper is past. We had a good run! Yard was up to 8 colonies at one time. Quickly diminished to 3 for the winter as weak colonies were combined and swarms given away to other new keepers. It was a dynamic time, for sure!

On the plus side – we managed to harvest about 60lbs from our 3 first year hives. Not bad, not bad at all and about 60lbs more than I was expecting.

First batch of mead is ‘cooking’. Just did rack it off into 2nd fermenter this weekend. Looking good! But, yea – with “only” 60lbs of honey, dumping 15lbs into a beverage – no matter how good it should be – is a tad unsettling.

Tickets for the WY bee college have been purchased, reservations made. Looking forward to a good time in Cheyenne.

Last summers victory at getting Casper Municipal code modified to allow for keeping bees within the city limits was way cool. Keepers are coming out of the wood work now. LOTS more bees in Natrona county than I believe anyone suspected.

I’ve already received my notice to renew my yard location registration. Nicely done WY Ag dept! Tad frustrated with the requirements to register as a General yard, however. The letter says I have to have at least 10 hives to register as a general and I have to have 20 hives to register a 2nd yard (10 each). Mmmm, not in the regs, but hey – kind get why they’re doing that. So, my plan to register as a general yard may be delayed until I can build up some. We’ll see.

The ‘club’ (NCBA) is growing and evolving into what it’ll become. Enthusiasm and trepidation are both present in appropriate amounts. After several years of effort and leadership, Deb has stepped aside as ‘ring leader’. Pretty smart call on her part and not easy to do. But her wisdom shows! Now to see what this crew builds.

Oxalic Acid vaporizer has been working well – treated 5 yards (including my own) this past fall. We’re gonna win on the Varroa battle line too!

Wow – I look back and 2015 was a good, busy year. And 2016 is shaping up as well. Like I mentioned, we have 3 hives now. 2 I’m fairly confident will make it to spring. One, I’m not so sure of – but maybe. We plan to buy 2 packages from Prairie Wind, plus swarm captures. Should have the yard full in no time at all. Need to make another stand.

Now, why the restart on this site? Well, it’s an experiment and frankly – I simply didn’t like the way it was going. All the important stuff folks need or want to know is over on the NCBA site, so no real loss. Don’t be surprised if this one goes ‘blank’ again sometime in the future. And, of course, if you’ve something you want to ask about or add, just let me know.

Happy Bees to all in ’16!