Spring, Splits, and Queens

Well Oklahoma had another early spring this year and the bees are responding well.  We had our first round of queens come in last week and the second round is do in this week.

We have received some questions about what we do with new queens and the first answer is SPLITS!!!   Splitting is when we take some frames containing brood (bee larva) and nurse bees (young bees) and place them in a new hive body with a caged queen.  The young bees are very willing to trade allegiance to the new queen and will readily accept her once she is released into the hive and begins laying eggs.  Then with a little luck in 4-6 weeks the “split” we be able to produce some honey.

Other than using new queens to make splits we also use them to replace queens that are past their prime.  Queens have a very demanding job, they alone control the success of a hive, both through their egg laying ability and the amount of pheromone they produce.  After 1-2 years one of those two key traits will begin to diminish and the health of the hive will quickly follow.  In order for us to be able to harvest honey we need our queens to perform at their best.

So, here’s to early springs and new queens!!!

51378320480__E077E72D-77B0-416B-8856-12AEDCD76B9F

Advertisements

2016 Review

A quick look back at 2016 for 6 Acre Bees.  We started off the year rebuilding, again.  Do to the learning curve of mite management we only had 4 hives.  Thanks to an early spring we were able to make splits and buy a few hives to make some honey.  Over all a good year for us honey production wise, we harvested around 200 pounds of liquid honey and were successful on our first attempt of making comb honey, which we packaged in pint jars with liquid honey and was a huge hit.

img_1380As the main honey season wound down we turned our focus to raising new queens to make increases for 2017.  We had good success and were able to raise around 10 queens of which 7 have survived so far into 2017.  Our total hive count at the moment is 14.  We have an additional 12 queens purchased that should be arriving in April to allow for more splits of our current hives.

In 2017 we hope to expand our operation.  We will maintain two apiaries in the Edmond & Guthrie areas and will establish a new apiary or two in the Claremore area. Last year was the first year we were able to offer customers the option to select which apiary their honey came from and we are excited to add a new location to the mix this year.

We will continue to have lip balms, lotion bars, and beeswax listed on our Etsy store, so if you haven’t checked it out yet please be sure to go look at and try one of the products made by us using beeswax from our hives.

Thank you for your support in 2016 and we look forward to hearing from you in 2017.

It’s Swarm Season!

Spring brings bee swarms! A swarm of bees may seem like a scary sight, but bees will be at their most docile state when swarming. They are too preoccupied with finding a new home. If you see a bee swarm or have a swarm on your property, call us! We will come get those bees out of your way, free of charge. (In Logan County or in the OKC metro area.)

swarm

We also specialize in hive removal, so if those bees should take up residence in YOUR residence, give us a call!

IMG_0873