I've been doing more and more homesteading type of things that someone recently suggested that I write a blog. Yeah that one made me chuckle.
Anywho. The bees are getting extreme as are my reactions to them. We have nearly sixty hives now with 20 more queens arriving next week for splits. When you have that many bees, you are bound to get stung. Often. Last year I got to a point where I would swell quite badly with each sting and the last few made my throat feel fuzzy. I am thinking an epipen is in my future. Just in case things go downhill in a fast way.
We are expanding our product line to include honey, creamed honey in several flavors, lip balm, candles, heel balm, woodworkers crème, anti itch cream and a few others. We have been doing so many local events that I also bought an observation hive so people can see the queen and watch her lay. HUGE HIT! Kids in particular loved being able to see a queen bee and watch bees work up close and personal without the risk of being stung.
We are selling our honey in several local stores and have been super busy keeping up with that. We got on average of 800 lbs of local honey plus we bought 2,000 lbs of honey from another beekeeper in Utah. It's all almost gone for the season so I guess we're doing alright.
One of the biggest obstacles this year has been the weather. It's still snowing off and on. The blooms are way behind and some plants just never blossomed at all. We had our bees in a remote yard and at one point had to snow shoe in to check on them. So we are spending more time and money feeding the bees this year. That's ok though. The more we feed them now, the more honey they will give us later. We are going to try for almond pollination next year. We will have to move the bees to California in November to keep them strong enough to take to almonds in February. Leaving them here, they get cold and shut down brood production so they end up not strong enough during almond season. Not sure how I feel about that. I don't like turning over control of my bees to someone else. We'll have to see how that one goes.