Sunday, March 11, 2012
My third spring without treating my bees for ANYTHING and they are still going strong. I've read where other beekeepers have gone 7-10 years without mite treatment and their bees did just fine so I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and hope for the best.
Since both hives survived the winter I have to decide what I'm going to do about the splits. I cannot have four hives. My neighbors were really patient with me when the hives swarmed last year but I fear that patience runs thin. I know that if a swarm of bees attached itself to our home back when I knew nothing about bees I wouldn't have been a very nice neighbor so... I have to "do unto others...."
Since splitting hives in two is a swarm management system and I don't want four hives I decided to split both hives and give the bees away. The good thing is, there is no shortage of those who want bees. After posting that I wanted to give the bees away on beesource I received a bunch of private messages from people who wanted them. Problem is, most of the requests came from people who do not have an established presence on the forum, therefore it made me a little nervous. My nervousness comes from my wanting the one retrieving the bees to do the split for me. I figure if I'm giving them away and not selling them, the least they can do is the split. But... I'm nervous about letting someone dig into my hives when I have no idea how much they know about beekeeping. Luckily, one of the very experienced beekeepers on the beesource contacted me. He happens to live one state over and is willing to take the bees if no one else will. He suggested I look locally first so I contacted Natures Nectar (my bee supplier), and Jim (the owner) said he'd take them if they are still going strong at the end of April. I haven't heard back yet on whether he'll do the split though.
I've been told I should do the split, create nucs and just sell the bees myself but honestly, I have no idea how much to sell them for or how I even go about marketing that. I've never even seen a nuc before other than in a supply catalog. How do they work exactly? Can they be transported once the bees are inside?
Well... I have at least a month to sort it all out. Right now the bees are doing great! These warm days should make them happy.