January 1, 2020
The following is a modification of what I submitted to the Michigan Beekeepers Association for their January newsletter. Have a wonderful new year.
*Again, I am writing this back in the “woods cabin.” I have a warm fire with a lot of snow coming down….a great spot for a bit of reflection.
* Winter came early for us this year over 60” by December 20th, followed by a warm up over Christmas but snowing hard today (Dec. 30). There still is over 1 ½ feet of snow on the ground.
*The hives are tucked in till at least March – no digging them out now. There were some fall losses in the area…. I think maybe more mite and virus issues.
*While gone for 10 days in Oct., I came home to several dead hives. These were healthy treated hives – I suspect they got in to something. This would be unusual for fall but not unheard of. This is the 1st time in over 30 years I have lost bees in the fall…very discouraging to say the least.
*On a more positive note, the UP clubs have been active and continue to see increased interest in beekeeping. We are planning our 3rd all UP Conference – March 28th, 2020. It has continued to grow each year.
*Beekeeper, Isaac Behrens of Marquette/Skandia is starting to raise some queens here in the area. Maybe our dream of locally adapted “snow queens” will become a reality….stay tuned!
*Now is the season to do some serious reading about our favorite little insects. Both the Bee Culture and American Bee Journal have great articles. Most local libraries have them and lots of back issues. I picked up Larry Connor’s book this summer “Keeping Bees Alive” and have found it a great read. As usual for my winter, I peruse my old copy of The Hive and The Honeybee by Dadant. This is a great base of accumulated bee knowledge, but there is always a need to review the latest research.
*I have been asked many times about the price of UP honey. There is a lot of variation but generally around $20.00 per quart at retail. Some marketing and name recognition will push that up to $30.00 or a bit more. No problem selling all that is produced.
*Hope to see you at the Spring Conferences. MBA conference March 6&7th (http://www.michiganbees.org/2020-spring-conference/) and the UP Conference March 28th.( https://upbeekeepingconference.weebly.com/) Both of these have intro beekeeping sessions. There will be a beekeeping 101 session in Escanaba on January 25th(https://www.facebook.com/baydenocbeekeepingclub).
*Please contact me with any concerns or questions at: