I finally went out to check on my bees yesterday in the blistering heat. I kept putting it off and putting it off but finally got worried enough about it to don the bee attire and take a peek. I was pleasantly surprised to see a whole super full of honey just waiting for me to harvest and an AMAZING number of bees. That hive seems so strong right now.
Last year I decided I wasn't going to treat them anymore for mites with those Apistan chemical strips or use anything at all and I would just let the chips fall where they may. I had stripped out the comb and cleaned the entire hive down to the bare wood before I got this latest package of bees two springs ago so I could start over fresh and clean.
After I hived the bees two springs ago I fed them some sugar what when I remembered to and basically just let them have their way, sink or swim, or in this case fly.
They made it through the winter and apparently the queen did too, so this spring I put an empty super with comb on top of their hive body and left one super of honey for the bees and thankfully they went to work making me some tasty sweetness.
I did put together another super and added it to the hive in the hopes they might be so inclined to continue to make honey into the fall. That hive is SO FULL of bees. I really don't want them to swarm.
I don't know if my queen will make it another year or not or if the bees will survive this winter but so far they seem to be doing better without my help than with, so more power to them.
I'll probably wait until September and then pull off the honey and put it into my homemade extractor.
I've become more and more interested in Top Bar and Warre hives lately. I think I might like to add one of those to the mix this winter and order another package of bees in the spring.
Nothing gets a girl more pumped up about beekeeping like harvesting the sweet spoils of a victory... even if they are few and far between.