Belle Rock Farm

Fine chickens in Goodhue County since 2011.

End of the season…

by allison - August 28th, 2012.
Filed under: General.

With the pigs safely to the butcher, I’m now left with a pretty small animal population–a flock of laying hens, a flock of ducks, a pair of goats, and a few cats (including two adorable kittens looking for a new home). Now that things are quiet, I’ve been trying to get on top of my bee situation. The queen that I got with my package in April started to fail in July, just as we were getting to some serious nectar flows. After watching declining production, at the end of July I was pretty sure my queen was dead, so I ordered a new one from Singing Cedars Apiary in Vermont. They are breeding mite-resistant survivor stock, and they shipped me a new queen with all haste. When I went to install my queen, I discovered the old one was still alive since I now had a small amount of brood. Unsure of what to do, I consulted my beekeeping instructor, who recommended I split the hive and install the new queen in whichever box didn’t have the old one. During this process (which took a couple of days) my new queen died. I figured out which box my old queen was in, ordered another new queen (again, shipped quickly from Vermont), and was finally able to install and release my new queen in mid-August. She is now laying pretty well. I’ve managed to get all of my drawn frames back into the functioning hive, and am feeding the bees syrup to help them stand a chance of over-wintering. While I wish my original queen had worked out better, I’m glad that I got the experience of requeening a hive, and am quite excited about the new queen’s genetics. With some luck maybe we’ll get some honey next year!

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