We’ve been super busy these past two months getting going with our spring rearing endeavors.
Mark travelled to the coastal mountains of northern California in early February to deliver some of our breeder colonies in time to build up on the eucalyptus and mediterrean blooms.
We had to dig out several of our breeder hives from under deep snow in the southern Rockies!
digging out breeder hive from deep snow

Then, as Mark got everything loaded, I followed him to Santa Fe with my tacoma full of snow where we packed it around the hives for evaporative cooling on their drive through the Mojave to the bay area….
snow packed hives ready for transportcrossing the bay bridge

Once we got them into place, they were left to do their thing! A few weeks later, I then travelled to our beekeeping buddy Aiden Wing of wingsofnaturebees.com and Aiden and I started grafting for our Zia Wings survivor cross stocks.
Aiden Wing with Zia-Wings first batch of 2016 survivor queen cells

Then, Mark returned when the queen cocoons were ripe and we began making splits off of our hives and placing queen cells into each one….now we cross our fingers and wait 3 weeks and hope for the best drones to find her first!

installing ripe queen cocoon into mating nucleus2 year old breeder

And, even though we are hella busy….the beekeeper must take a moment, to stop and smell the flowers….this is Mark, our wizard behind the curtain who keeps the farm going getting some aromatherapy from the cherry blossoms.
Beekeeper Mark stops to smell the cherry blossoms