Outyards have been set up for another season and barring any destruction by outdoors-loving vandals they should be good to go. A huge thanks to members Steve Stundon, Judy Davis, Gord Quaite, Karen and Werner Grundlingh for yeoman service in digging and post pounding and wire fixing etc. We are a volunteer based group and they stepped up… thanks! Lots of others have offered help, thank you, there will be opportunity over the summer to help out. Those going up need to help out and make sure the weeds are cut back around the electric fencing. We’ll have a contact person for each yard.
Driving around, searching for a suitable location and setting up a yard. Warm day, good company, solid workout!
Remember that you are required to write your name and phone number on your hives. Why? If a member sees a problem with your hive, then they can contact you! Of course, this will only be possible once they’re down from the mountain as there’s no cellphone reception that high up.
It would be a good idea to have bold markings on your hive so the bees know where they belong. Last year there were almost 30 hives in one yard. I bet it would be relatively easy for the bees to go to the wrong hive. A few of us use long strips of black tape in lines or triangles — yea we were hippies and we believe they look for those markings when they return…
We did not install the solar chargers, as you know the bees protect the chargers from vandals and the chargers protect the bees from bear vandals, so they go in on the day we go up.
The fireweed is not that far along, so I don’t think it would be prudent to go to the yards this coming weekend, they are just starting to bud, not even starting to flower. However, I think (hope!) they will be ready for the following weekend. The fireweed looks very healthy, and there is a lot of it, so I hope we have a good season there.
We explored and set up a small yard in a new area — with a newer cut — which is warmer and will have potential for many years of forage. The fireweed there is about 5 days earlier it seems, but we will have to follow it for a season and see how it pans out. While we still have good forage this year, we do need to go to a new place in the next year or two, and this spot looks good. Gord, Karen and Werner will be taking hives there. Once we get feedback on the season/yield, we will look for more sites in the area. It’s a bit farther, but these things happen, the road is good…
As it stands we will likely go up on the Saturday, July 15th, install the chargers and the fence will be hot. So… two weeks, time for the queen cells to hatch out and the new queen to start laying (what?! — your queen is fine!?).
Treat your bees! This is the most important aspect of going to the yards, not taking up mites or disease. This protects not only your hives, but also the other hives around you. Be casual on Fridays at work, but please take pest management seriously. Bob spends a lot of time helping us be good at it with his great presentations, so for the love of Bob, please keep on top of it!
Maps for newbees and more information will be sent out; also see the resources below. Remember: 5 hives per person maximum; it is $5 per hive — pay me or at the meetings to the membership people. For newbies, you need to have your hive inspected by a provincial inspector or your mentor — someone who can recognize some diseases, and check for high mite levels. Inspector is best, if you can arrange it!
Questions, offers to help — comment below! — and give those guys mentioned at the top a hug or a pat on the back at the next meeting for helping out!