Calendar: First and foremost I laid out a calendar to Schedule major activities within my Apiary. Starting with when to make my spring splits, install packages, treat for mites, it’s all there. I’m a list driven personality, will be able to refer to calendar and then pivot to making a list for the week. My next calendar starts 08/01 after embracing Bob Binnies’s theory on when does your actual season begin!
Size: I got a little too big for my own britches…with work, family, etc trying to have 4 apiaries running with 10-20 hives at each was just way too much. I wasn’t able to keep up and the quality of my beekeeping was reduced dramatically. This showed in my poor honey crop, queen mating, and over-wintering. I’m scaling way back this year and trying to produce a process that’s minimally time intensive and can scale throughout the season.
Gear: Really liked the foam 10 frame hives I bought from https://hillcobees.com and was sad he wasn’t carrying them anymore! I’m going to invest in some new bottom boards, inner covers, telescoping lids, feeding shims, and double screen boards. My gear is all getting old and is starting to rot. I also will be running 6 frame single foams nucs into winter. Apiary size and plans will be in another post…
Queens: This season upgrading our genetics will be my primary focus. Our New River Carniolian VSH appears to have made it through the winter and will be out early season queen mother as well as the foundation for II with VSH germoplasm from VP Queens. We will also be getting a breeder queen from VP Queens to add more diversity and genetics. See above comments on scaling, will be reducing the quantity of grafts to focus on quality.