Hi bee family, happy fall! It was a busy season once the nucs (starter hives) were picked up and installed. I've started moving the hives to a new area of the yard this year which will be easier for the beekeeper to access, and hopefully equally agreeable to the ladies. I'll still keep a couple of colonies closer to the cabin since the dog and I like watching them from the window. Two of the nucs weren't ready for pickup until July, which put them both significantly behind the others, however they were able to catch up and produce enough honey to get them up to weight for their winter stores.
In other news, in early September I was contacted for a bee rescue from an apartment complex in downtown Kingston. A resident was storing a couple empty hive boxes on his balcony and a wild swarm had moved in, packing it with close to 100 pounds of honey. Neighbours were surprisingly tolerant but were starting to get stung as the bees became more protective in late summer. It was a bit sketchy carrying two heavy boxes filled with bees through the hallways, but we were able to get them down safely to the truck and move them to the apiary.
I'll be overwintering five colonies this year, and I just finished feeding them sugar water over the last few weeks to help boost their winter stores. Treatments for varrora mites and afb (american foulbrood, which is a serious honey bee virus) have been completed and things are looking decent for winter. I'll check their mite levels again this month to make sure we're not over the threshold, and may need to do a final late fall treatment.
The good news! There was a small honey harvest this year, which was extracted last week. Most of this honey was produced in late summer and early fall so it's a darker honey with a decent amount of goldenrod. Goldenrod produces a slightly darker, stronger tasting honey which tends to crystallize faster than lighter honey. It's excellent for allergies in hayfever season, and the stronger flavour makes it my personal favourite.
I'll start filling pre-paid orders in the order received, and hope to start bottling next week. If you pre-ordered honey, look out for an email in the next couple weeks.
As always, thanks for your support and interest.
1000 Islands Honey