As the 2019 season draws to a close and all the colonies are wrapped and tucked away for the cold months ahead I welcome the change in pace and workload to one that is less hectic. Centered around shop work, rendering beeswax, selling honey, making equipment and preparing for next season, along with being able to spend time with my family. 2019 was a year for a record honey crop that came in late and had the bees filling the supers with an intensity that was hard to keep up with. Its amazing to me that almost 9 tons of honey can be realized in just a few short weeks.
I must also admit that for the last decade without using any treatments in my apiary, this is a time of year where I would be lying if I said I had no worries, wondering if I will have any bees alive to pick up and run with for next season. This uneasy feeling has become a familiar friend every fall. Then I think, no beekeeper or farmer worth their salt is exempt from this reality. My reality is for the last 10 years I have run the gambit, coming out of winters that yield a high mortality rate and those where there are hardly any supers void of bees. I have learned that with little I always underestimate the great potential that can be rebuilt. And seasons of plenty, how to mount up and ride the wave before me. In the end its a mindset and hard work that keeps the whole apiary together. In the end every spring we all start back again at zero.
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