I am huddled here at home after the season's first big blizzard, I've looked out over the snow-covered hives and thought..."Well what are my plans for the spring?"
After doing some research and attending the "Queen Rearing" course at the U of M last summer, I guess my focus next spring will to begin some queen-rearing. (Of course, all this depends are my hives surviving the winter. They were fed extra sugar and pollen in October and early November, and packed away nicely. There were less mites than last fall, and also very few bees with virus-like symptoms, so I am bit more confident) This means some preparation this winter, so here are my goals:
1. Finding places to place hives and mating nucs. I have one colleague (a former exterminator) who has expressed an interest, the Catholic Worker House one block away, and a small-scale perennial nursery and orchard. I have pretty much reached my limit in hives in Beelandia itself.
2. Equipment Purchases-- I made a number of purchases last summer in preparation for queen-rearing this spring (e.g. card board nucs, grafting equipment, etc. ) My new purchases might include more Pierco plastic frames (With a little extra bees wax "painted" on each frame, the bees accepted these well.), and some pollen substitute.
3. Reading and Rereading More Books-- I am obsessed with collecting as much information as possible on queen-rearing, and, unfortunately, had not had time to do that reading this fall with classes, assessment, advising, and presentations.
Did I forget anything?