Beekeeping is like any other profession in that generally, everything happens at once. This time of year, the phone rings off the hook with retail orders — we are lucky enough to be located next to not just a national park, but GLACIER National Park! — at the same time all of the flowers burst into full-hearted bloom and the bees start going gangbusters working said flowers.
Dandelions. If you need a reason to leave them undisturbed in your yard, tell your neighbors how tasty the bees find them in late spring. A very important food source for the girls!
Beekeeping is not like any other profession in this way: if we beekeepers are not quick enough to expand the size of our hives by adding what are called “supers” (the boxes that sit on top of the existing 2 boxes that make up the hive — they are called supers because they are for the storage of superfluous honey), our workers will say Sayonara and hit the trail. There will be no meeting called for their union, or for upper management, to discuss the situation and its solutions. They will simply round up their Queen and head for a roomier tree trunk to call home, i.e. they will swarm.
What this means for us: when Honeydew determines that the time is right for “supering” the hives, he doesn’t mean when the crew gets caught up on the candle pouring and the hive painting and the oil changing. He means right then, and he intends to work until the work is done. Beekeepers’ hours ain’t bankers’ hours.
So Honeydew and the crew spent the end of last week and half the weekend supering the hives. And they look mighty purty now, all supered up, and so filled with promise.
May it be a good honey year.
2013. Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.