Well, we are indeed looking forward to our “down time” this coming winter. The efforts we extended this past year to a variety of endeavors and projects has depleted our energy stores and so we must recharge by sledding and skiing! So far, we have received 10 inches of snow and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet! We sure hope this means a wet winter 🙂
Per our normal protocol, we will not begin taking reservations for bees and queens until end of January. We wait at least one month post winter solstice to better assess how our girls are overwintering and how many splits we might be able to anticipate. The past few years, spring has been volatile and challenging. Last season we conducted our first graft the latest in our 8 year history. So who knows what Mother Nature has in store for our bees this coming year and what the anticipated schedule will end up being.
Regardless of how the weather manifests, we are on the bees’ schedule. We have learned not to start too early as it stresses the bees and us out, and yields less than if we wait. So, we wait until the weather begins to stabilize and drone emergence has been evident for at least a few weeks to ensure sexual maturity for mating.
Additionally, we will be focusing more on providing breeding stock to queen and bee producers around the nation. Since we are limited in size and availability, we want to share our tested survivor stock with those who can incorporate them into their breeding programs to further promote healthy and diversified stock in their apiaries and their produced bees and queens.
This is one way in which our stock can be out-crossed and shared with more stewards than if we produced them alone with our limited numbers. Our limitation is mostly due to topography. Our landscape can only support so many hives and their reproduction. We focus on establishing apiaries and mating zones where diverse and nutritious natural forage is promoted. Quality nutrition helps individual bees to develop an enhanced overlapping network of health within a single hive super organism; thus giving them the environment in which to develop and nurture healthy queens, and positive genetic story (toolkit) display.
To place a reservation for a breeder queen- you can contact us starting January 22nd, 2014. For spring nuc and queen orders, we will post information on their availability once we determine what we can offer.
We will be offering starter nucs to those who sign up for our 5 week intensive course & field practicum.
We will also be offering a few intermediate and advanced beekeeping practicums throughout the 2014 bee season.
I will post class information within the next month and a half.
Happy Autumn- Thanksgiving reminds us to revere our sentinel sisters who have so eagerly pollinated the crops that are feeding our families and friends.