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Posts Tagged ‘Hansvold bees’

June requeen Pizza

It has been cloudy and cold all day to ring in the new year and of course, that makes Mark long for the summer sun so he asked me to post a picture of a typical summer day here in South Texas. What better representation than our Pizza Bee Yard out towards Gonzales, which is east of Seguin about an hour. We hope you have been enjoying the holiday season as much as we have this year. It’s been a big year for us and we were happy to be busy but also happy to have had a little rest the past couple of days. It feels as if we’ve been moving at 95 miles per hour non-stop since….spring perhaps. We were blessed to have my dad and brother visit from Florida – loved showing them the markets and work we do and they also seemed to enjoy their time with us and Lan. Lots of fun and now missing them as things quieted down again around the house.

With a break from my other full time job, I was so happy last week to be outside with Mark at a bee yard again. It has been a while and I really didn’t want to miss out on the almost perfect day – look at that blue sky! It was absolutely gorgeous out that day last week. Air was dry and crisp though a bit windy. We waited until it hit the 60s and then we went out to Nash Creek. The bees like that area and produced good honey there this year so we’re looking forward to seeing how they do next season. It’s a small yard so we’ll be looking to grow in hive number though likely in a different Nash Creek location. Not sure where yet. The hives looked robust though there was one slightly lackluster one that Mark fed in hopes of reviving it. We sure needed rain and thankfully we finally got some rain to welcome in the new year. Yay for the bees! Let’s pray for more rain. We’re going to need more if we’re going to have another booming honey harvest in 2013.

Nash Creek yard check 2

Here’s one of our lovely and quite large queens Mark let me spot in one of the hives. I like to keep in good practice with picking out the queens, especially when they are not marked.

Nash Creek yard check 6

After we checked on the bees, we dropped off some equipment for storage at The Farm yard. Plus Mark wanted to check on the new Hansvold bees he and Stan picked up a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a panoramic shot of where we store some of our equipment during winter months.

Storage area at The Farm yard

And on the same property but on the other side of the road, we have the little nursery where the Hansvold bees will remain until spring. At that time, we’ll either move them into other yards or we’ll sell some of them. They did so well for us last year and we were really pleased to be able to get some more of them to add to our apiary.

The Farm Nursery 3

One more shot just because I just love the Century Cacti that grow around here. 🙂

The Farm Nursery 7

And finally, I want to send a special hello to our my sweet friend Mary of NC – hi Mary! We finally got your wonderful card, sweet girl. Thank you for thinking of us here at the Bee Ranch. We can’t wait to see you later this month!

Enjoy the new year, friends! And bee safe. [Sorry, couldn’t resist that.]

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Trucking on down the road with the bees

This morning, Mark sent some pictures of the final bee pick-up event of the year. They met up with David in Jasper – waaaaay over there in East Texas – and loaded up 52 healthy hives on the truck and headed on down the road back to Seguin. It’s about a 4-hour drive but with a heavy trailer, it may take a little longer. Last update they were already in Columbus so it’s the home stretch now. Once here, they will park the truck and trailer in the bee yard and then uncover and unload early tomorrow morning.

Below is a shot of the bee yard where the beekeepers all met up this morning in Jasper – it looks quite lovely and I notice there are the beautiful pines on the left. I love pines – reminds me of growing up on the east coast. Wish I could have been there with them.

Dec 2012 bee pick up in Jasper, Texas

Sorry the posting was so lacking this past week – we have been swamped with orders that needed to get out for Christmas. We were up way past bedtime several nights but we are grateful for the orders and the increase over past years. That being said, we are also looking forward to having a bit of a break on Christmas and afterwards. Hopefully it won’t slow down TOO much, but it would be nice to not be running on high-speed.

See y’all at the markets this weekend!

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Winter pollen is a great thing to see

Today was finally warm and dry enough to get out to the Farm bee yard in order to check on and feed the new hives we picked up this fall. We’ve had several nice rainfalls lately so you have to think about how muddy the yards are and whether or not you can maneuver a truck in and out without getting stuck. The Farm yard is a good one as it is pretty easy to get in and out without much worry in the upper areas. We have several hives set up in a lower section of the grounds and that may be a different story. It’s great seeing all the pollen the bees are bringing in – a nice change from the pollen-less summer. This bee was carrying some of the brightest pollen I’ve seen this fall – not sure what flower it’s from.

David feeding the bees

We continue to feed these new hives that we purchased and placed at the Farm Yard in late October. They were short on stores for the winter, so we’ve scrambled to get them some food so they can keep themselves warm. Our challenge is to bring them through the winter alive, because if we do, they are going to have a field day with all of the spring wildflowers that are already starting to sprout from our abundant fall rains. The good news is that the hives are putting on some much-needed weight from our sugar syrup feedings — and, there is more rain in our forecast!

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