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Fast Dancing in the Spring

Spring is a busy time for bees and beekeepers.  The bees want to swarm and prepare to make honey, and the beekeeper tries to keep up with the bees.  Last year was a difficult year for our and most people’s bees with the crazy weather and the drought so I’m thrilled that ours are doing so well right now.  How well are they doing?  We went into winter with 15 hives, emerged from winter with 15 hives, and as of last week our 2 bee yards looked like this:  

There are so many hives now that the pictures had to be taken from a distance to get all the hives in each apiary in the picture.  To put it simply, the bees are wanting to swarm and we are doing a frenetic hive-building dance to try to keep up with them and encourage them to stay.  A hive can range from one box to however many we can stack based on the colony size, and each box holds 10 frames so that is 10 frames that have to be put together and given foundation before being put out for use by the bees; in short, a good amount of time goes into putting together each box before it goes into the bee yard.  What you see in the pictures is the culmination of some serious fast dancing in recent weeks; winter is a season of slow dancing for the bees, whereas spring is a season of fast dancing for the bees and beekeepers alike. This spring our bees are setting a very rapid pace and we are doing our best to keep up with the beat they are setting.  We hope that this will translate into good honey harvests this year.

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