2011 wasn’t a good year for beekeepers on the east coast of Newfoundland. We had a late wet spring, a short cold summer, and we (i.e., the royal we, as in I’m talking about yours truly) made plenty of mistakes along the way. But we managed to harvest about 20kg of honey from our two established hives and it was all worth it.
Here are some photos from 2011 (about 100 photos, approximately 5 minutes):
iPad and other non-Flash devices can view slideshow photos here: Beekeeping 2011..
We doubled our number of Langstroth hives from two to four. Our small backyard is now filled to capacity. We plan to double up to possibly eight hives next year once we secure some land and build the new hives. We decided this year to pull the plug on foundationless beekeeping because we’re not convinced it’s the best way to raise bees in our local climate. The jury is still out on that one. We’ll see how our one foundationless colony does next year. We got our two new colonies going into winter much stronger than last year’s nucs. We’re extremely happy about that. It’s comforting to realize that, at least in some areas, we have a good idea of what we’re doing and how to do it. Then of course we got our first harvest of honey this year. Our foundationless hive didn’t make much honey, probably because it was full of honey-hungry drones. But the other hive did okay and cutting the honey-filled comb out of the foundationless frames and biting into it was a joyous occasion, a beautiful thing. Here’s my favourite video from the past year:
I hope 2012 is even better. See you next year.