Things have been busy! Spring is a beekeeper's busiest time, when a young (wo)man's fancy turns into a box of stinging insects and delicious, delicious honey. On top of (not) writing articles for my blog, I'm in the midst of teaching my Beekeeping 101 course at the Brooklyn Brainery, assembling equipment, and prepping my apiaries for the new bees that are coming April 9th.
For those of you who have just GOTTA GET YOUR BEEKEEPING FIX RIGHT NOW, today is your lucky day.
There are TWO schweet lectures happening tonight! It's disappointing that you'll have to choose between the two because they both sound very interesting, but such is life. You can't go wrong with either of them.
As usual, the NYC Beekeeping Group is hosting a session of it's FREE Winter Beekeeping Course, tonight at 6:30. Tonights lecture topic is:
"PACKAGES, SPLITS, NUCS, AND STUPID BEEKEEPER TRICKS"This is the talk that I'm going to. Knowing when to make splits and how to prevent swarming is absolutely key to keeping bees in an urban environment, and I feel like I'm a little rusty.
Last time, "making a split", was mentioned as one way to deal with a hive showing clear signs of swarm preperation. Beekeepers makes splits, nucs, and even shake bees into packages to make two colonies from one.
We will walk through the process of making various types of splits, and discuss which are most appropriate for an urban beekeeper.
Since splits and nucs are small colonies, and need extra care and attention, what we learn here will also be applicable to captured swarms, colonies that have not expaned as much as the beekeeper might like due to poor weather, and colonies weakend by Nosema or other illness.
The "stupid beekeeper tricks" will be a quick review of the myths and myth-conceptions that might mislead you into making a split that is doomed. As usual, many preconceived notions and pronoucements found in books and on the internet will be trashed and thrashed without mercy. Our focus is the welfare of the bees.
The NYC Beekeeping Association is ALSO hosting a lecture tonight:
Mike Palmers: Colony Management for Honey Production: A beekeeping management plan for a year in the apiary with focus on honey production and successful wintering.This sounds like a really interesting lecture, especially if you are interested in maximizing your honey crop! The NYC Beekeeping Association hosts a lecture like this on the first Tuesday of every month, and they are ALWAYS interesting. The talk is happening tonight from 7:00 - 9:00PM at the Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street.
Mike Palmer began keeping bees in 1974 with two packages of Italians from Georgia. In 1982, with 250 colonies of his own, he took a job managing the 500 colonies of bees belonging to Chazy Orchards in New York State. In 1986, he bought their apiary and added apple pollination to my business plan. For 15 years Mike managed 800-900 colonies in the Champlain valley of Vermont and New York for pollination and honey production. In 1998, he began raising his own bees and queens. Eventually, no longer having to buy replacement stock, he was able to give up apple pollination and concentrate on honey and queen production. He now winters 750 production colonies, 400 nucleus colonies, produces some 1200 queens and averages about 40 tons of honey per year.
Mike lives with his wife and Blue Tick hounds in the northern Champlain valley of Vermont. They have two grown daughters, one working at The Juilliard School in NYC, and the other pursuing her Masters degree at C.W. Post on Long Island.
As always, remember to check the Calendar page for any and all upcoming beekeeping events in NYC!