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Did you know Augsburg has been a Beez Kneez Urban Apiary Partner since 2015? Here’s an update on how our hives survived 2019.
Although the spring weather of 2019 was slow to get started, we had enough sunshine and rain in late May and early June to give our bees a really nice boost in making more bees.
The honey harvest was not our best harvest but not our worst either. We also left the bees with more of their own honey this year in an effort to not have to feed sugar water.
We are striving year after year to be as sustainable as possible both in our bees and our business. Another way we are doing this is by raising our own queens. This is a new skill that takes some practice but we had good success in 2019 and are happy to report that most of our hives have queens we raised from our own hardy, northern and disease resistant stock.
So what does this mean for 2020?
1. Your hives were alive and ready for winter in early November. Bees can endure this cold, however temperature swings can be hard on them. The warmer than average weather we have been having in January can cause them to eat more than they should. We will be checking on them and their food stores after the first week of February.
2. The other challenge is the spread of viruses by this nasty mite. Recent research revealed that mites actually feed on fat bodies of bees not the blood(similar to our liver), and weaken the bees right before winter when they need the most healthy bees to carry them through. We were proactive and used some preventative tactics through most of the year but experienced an exceptionally high year for the spread of this parasite. Similar to influenza, some years tend to be worse than others. Cross your fingers that spring is kind to us this year. Early and warm with no subzeros in March!