This whole “Mentor” thing…

It feels like arrogance – and when I get my enthusiasm going it likely comes across that way. OK – yea, I’ve a bit of a thing for bees. I’m not shy about it and when folks ask questions I tend to answer, best I can. It does seem a struggle to not come across as a ‘know it all’ or some such. And there’s a LOT I don’t know! Even the basics – well, I know what’s worked for me, what I’ve read and heard about – what makes sense in all that context. Figure at the least I can save folks some time re-doing all that themselves. Hope so!

One of the neatest things I got to watch recently was 2 of my ‘newer’ folks extracting their first harvest. They borrowed our extractor, it gave ’em a bit of a fit. I got called over to troubleshoot and that was easy enough to get done. But, then to see ’em load their frames, spin that thing up and watch that golden goodness flow out the gate! What a treat. These folks have faced some challenges with their hives. Going into their 2nd winter now I hope they’ve strong colonies in Spring! They’ve worked for it.

Felt pretty good to be sitting back, standing around and taking pictures while they worked to collect the fruits of their learning, efforts and patience. What a treat to share in that!

One thing to be blessed with the keeping of these amazing critters – but to also be able to enjoy others achieving. That’s where it’s at. OK, call me arrogant if I’ve earned it. But if I can be part of that accomplishment, even if in the background – power on.

Heat of the summer

Yup – it’s been busy. GOOD! But busy.

Short trip to the political side of things – bit of a disillusionment there, boy howdy. But that’s not for here.

Bees!! We’ve had a couple late swarm calls. About the same total number of swarms caught as last season. Not as sure of the count as we were successful in ‘farming’ out the collection to more folks! Yea! More new hives in more yards. The last swarm we caught was a hurry up rush job. Folks called about 8:00p and we just did get them into a box before we lost light. Bit tight! Good bees and they’re established in the yard and growing well.

The yard is up to 9 hives now. 3 that overwintered well from last season, 3 new packages started this season, one Taranov Swarm from one of the over winters and a couple of the late season swarms.

That Taranov board is a neat trick – if you’re not familiar with it, well worth looking that up and giving it a go. It is time intensive, but it’s gentle on the bees and gives good results. We pulled a ‘swarm’ from our #1 hive. They had queen cells, mated and she’s back to laying and building up already.

Next step – harvest! We’re tentatively looking at a mid to late Aug harvest. Want to leave enough time for them to store up a bit more before frost as well as do all this when it’s warm enough for that stuff to flow in our gear.

We’ve the Wyoming State Fair coming up – been asked to do a booth there to talk about Urban beekeeping. Not sure what that’s going to look like, yet. But we’ll give it a go.

So, until later – happy bees!