Late Fall – Northeastern Minnesota (Photos)

Late Fall – Northeastern Minnesota (Photos)

Closing Down The Hives

Closing Down The Hives

_DSC0140We are not going to be getting much honey this year.  I mentioned this already in a previous post.

No honey from the southern hives, actually. None.

This is not a huge infliction monetarily on its own.  Honey from these hives never sold as well as the honey from our hives in St. Paul.  We still have a pile of the stuff from 2014.  People seemed like the more complicated floral taste of the St. Paul honey.

Not getting any honey from these southern hives is a monetary hit, none the less. Particularly, when you factor in that we should have had at least six hives in southern Minnesota.  Instead, we ended the season with just two.  That’s $80 to $120 per hive.  Gone.

The one hive, in the photo with tar paper wrapped around it, is a bit of a rare bunch of bees.  Actually, it’s probably just a strong queen.  This was the queen’s third season.

There probably short list of whys on the loss of four hives – the crappy Georgian/Wisconsin bees, the hotter-than-accustom-to Russian/Iowan bees, or just mites.  The list could go on.

It is actually some what late to close down the hives – the first day of November.  The hives are usually all closed down by this time of year.  It has been an odd fall, though.  Indian summer, no less.  We had late summer temperatures much of October.

Hives are closed down, now.  Wrapped in tarpaper, with an insulated moisture quilt on top.  The remaining hive of Russian bees (in the above photo, it is the hive with the smoker atop), although the bees did not produce any harvestable honey, all the available frames in the deep boxes was filled out with stock for winter.  If they overwinter successfully, I’m optimistic that they will produce a harvestable quantity of honey for us.