This is a reflective time of year in the beekeeping world. It seems to me that it is a small lull in the near non-stop annual activity of managing bees. If you are an almond pollinator, you’ve got your bees moved south or west already. If you so not move bees, then you’ve probably got them buttoned up for the winter. If you are like me in that you do a brisk retail business for the holidays, then you are just finishing the holiday rush but it is still quiet relatively speaking.
Over-wintering is one of the more difficult aspects of keeping bees in Colorado. Most of our losses occur in the winter but are not necessarily cold weather related. There is an old saying “Take your winter losses in the fall.” This means that the success of your hives in the winter is largely dependent upon actions that you take in the summer and the fall. Thus, if you have a weak hive, you should combine it. If your hive is diseased or sick, it should be treated or let go. It is simply no longer possible to successfully keep bees without managing them. The days of pitching them into the back yard in the spring and heading out in the fall to gather honey are long gone. Take the time in the “off-season” to further your education. Take a class. Read a book. Commiserate with your fellow beekeepers on your losses and share with your fellow beekeepers your management successes. Use the time wisely to become a better beekeeper next year. You will not regret the decision.
Speaking of taking a class–the CSBA Event Calendar is CHOCK FULL of new class listings. Check out what’s there and on the Education tab http://coloradobeekeepers.org/resources/education/. Something missing? Let me know at email@example.com. This is another FREE service of your CSBA membership.
Thank you to CSBA Vice-President Paul Limbach and to the Colorado Department of Agriculture and EPA for getting Section 18 approval for amitraz for mite control. For those using chemical treatments, this will be another tool in your arsenal.
Seems I have been a bit remiss on getting recipes to the site. My apologies. I have not forgotten that I need to get this done–I just have not done so. Bear with me. I will get them up in January.
Website has been revised and updated to reflect the Winter Meeting presentations as well as photos. I am still working on layout and additional information. It is a constant work in progress. If you have any suggestions or comments, please forward them to me.
Thank you for being a member.