Three weeks or so has passed since the treatment free hives were started and so far so good! All the queens were accepted and are laying. The first eggs should hatch in a day or so. It will be good to see the population of these hives increase.
The grass surrounding the electric fence has been mowed once and is just about due for another cutting. With all the rain we’ve had recently the field grass is growing enthusiastically. The mowing is both to keep the fence clear so it continues to operate with a good charge and to have a path way for me to travel. A side benefit will hopefully be to reduce opportunities for deer ticks to attach themselves to me. So far this season I’ve found one, and that was crawling around on my clothing!
A few of the hives are a bit behind the others. One had a very reduced population when introduced and another has a queen laying a high percentage of drones. I will not be unhappy if that queen gets superceded, but no signs of that so far. The division board feeder in each hive is being topped off twice a week. Two of the hives are emptying their feeder between visits while the others are not. As I’m using the black plastic type frame feeders that expand in width when filled the rest of the deep is taken up by the bees and 8 frames. All of the hives have drawn at least 4 frames and half of them have drawn 6. I’ll do a formal inspection of each hive later in the week and will post the status of each hive here.
As for what is in bloom – the shad and the dandelions have gone by, the choke cherries are blooming now and the wild blackberries are almost ready to pop. The blueberry bloom is starting to wind down – there are three drops of commercial hives within three miles of my driveway, and another four drops between the driveway and Machias. It won’t be long now before the commercial hives get picked up and moved to another crop.
I completed the hive registration form for the state this morning and was pleasantly surprised that I’m to report 38 hives this year. The registration fee of $12 is certainly a bargain, though I did have to search around for a checkbook so I could pay the fee. I had to hunt for the checkbook as I hadn’t written any checks on that account this year. Hurray for debit cards and electronic payments!