February 01, 2020

My Colorado Beekeeping Calendar: A sticky post

A Phenological Calendar for Colorado Beekeepers

By undergoing VIT, I successfully reduced my sensitivity to honeybee venom to safe levels! After taking several years off, my interest in beekeeping has not waned, and I'm anxious to restock our hives. I'm just not sure how to proceed since we're still planning to move out of Colorado. Should I restock and run the hives but then give them to someone if we move? Would someone buy fully stocked hives? What about the fact that one's a Top Bar Hive and one's a Warré? Should I run just one, with plans to leave it behind and take the other with? Which one to run? Which one to take? Should I run the one I prefer or the one I won't mind leaving behind? Which one do I prefer?! The mind wobbles.

What about you? What are your plans for this season? If you're in the Denver metro, maybe my bloom calendar will help you think them through. Just keep in mind that the dates can shift a couple of weeks in either direction depending on weather conditions. For example, the excessively warm 2017/2018 winter had elm trees blooming well before Valentine's Day. The snow storm on President's Day, though, cut short its blooming period. You can click on any of the events for more details and additional reading. I hope you find it useful.

Blue = honeybee, yellow = mason bee, green = what's blooming. And don't forget, Marty Hardison's booklet, "The Appropriate Beehive" is available at right. May your hives be humming. — BB & HB

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June 11, 2019

The undeniable SweeTart™ smell of Russian Olive trees perfumes the air of early summer.

It's message? It's time to super! Beekeepers, your job is to help your honeybees take advantage of the nectar flow, or what I like to call the "wax flow." For us top bar beekeepers, that means removing the follower board/false back if you haven't already and inserting bars. Warré beekeepers, whether you super or nadir, do it now so your bees can draw out lots of wax honeycombs. Here comes the honey!

Already forming tiny buds and the tell tale tongue (bract), the Linden trees will take all the moisture we've been getting and develop huge canopies of award-winning honey-producing blossoms, hail notwithstanding. It's been a tough June so far, and we have a long way to go before severe weather season is behind us. But stay positive and get your supers on today!