We assembled a lot of equipment that was sitting in the basement workshop over the past week. There are 8 more deeps assembled and 4 painted and ready for the bee yards. We also finished up all of the double nuc equipment. Over the next week, we have a couple hives that will need to be split and will go into the EZ Nuc’s we finished assembling and three nuc’s that need to get moved to a bee yard. We will also have to build a bunch of frames now that the bees are moving along nicely. There is one hive in particular that will need to be split because of a lot of swarm cells on the bottom of the upper deep frames. We also need to get back to building hive stands. Currently we have enough parts to build 5 more and only 3 in use. Those take roughly an hour to cut, clean, glue and assemble each assembly so they haven’t been on the priority list to get built.
We have also done a lot of inspections the last two weeks. The nuc’s in the Hartford yard are doing very well. We will have to move them into the new double nuc’s before they too begin to make swarm cells. All 3 nuc’s in that yard have good laying queens. We also went through the Iron Ridge yard and added a few honey supers to some of the rapidly growing hives. We have to get to our big storage unit and pull out some more honey supers and frames so we can get them out and in use.
On Friday we purchased a battery operated weed whacker for use in the yards to clear out the tall grass from the front of the hives. After three separate trips, we managed to clean up enough of the tall grass to allow the bees unimpeded flight to and from the hive entrances. The truck has a solar panel on the top with a small battery bank so we can use an inverter with the battery charger to charge the weed whacker batteries on the fly. This way we are using a renewable energy source to charge out battery packs rather than gas powered equipment. Much quieter operation and the bees don’t seem to be bothered by the use of it until we get right next to the entrance. Over the next week or so, we will continue to clear out the bee yard for ease of access and a cleaner looking bee yard.
We are also in search of some land to put more bee hives. The property owner we have hives at in the Iron Ridge area is planning on selling his property. The property next to his is also up for sale and perspective buyers of that property didn’t seem to interested in having bee hives adjacent to that house. The realtor gave me a dirty look the last time she drove by so I’m guessing it’s making it a hard sell for her having all of those bee hives within eye shot of the house. So if anyone knows of land owners in the Iron Ridge, WI area who wouldn’t mind some bee hives on their property, send them my way. An ideal location would have a southern exposure with northern and western exposure protection. We would need to have access to the bees year around and would prefer to drive up but atv access would be sufficient. Traveling would not be an issue if it came down to it. We will need multiple bee yards starting next year. The plan is to double if not triple the size of the business next year. Any info on potential landowners would be great.