Brendhan. Phew!!!! I spoke with a beekeeper that is local to me yesterday and he said that he had the bee inspector, Jacquie Bunsey (spelling) and she came out recently and inspected all of his 120 (approximately, can't remember the exact number) colonies. There were no disease, mites, parasites of any sort. He had 100% healthy hives. Yeah!!! Good for him, I felt proud for him. He had extreme colony losses last year because of varroa mite issues, like about 80% of his hives. He is building them up again and is doing wonderful thus far. He is doing some interesting stuff that I am going to learn more about. He has grouped all his colonies in fours and has wrapped them with a certain styrofoam around and above. I didn't get a chance to go more indepth with him about what he is up to, as time was not on our hands. He was at work, and I only stopped in to see how things were going. So it was brief.
It will be interesting to see how his colonies come through the winter and how the spring build up goes. He will be able to present us with some good and clear, proven facts. I am excited to find out about his findings.
This season was a very poor season for Lower Mainland British Columbia beekeepers. The season was unseasonably dark, not an over abundance of sunshine, sporadic sunshine, but hot when it did shine. The honey yields reported have been in the vicinity of 50% of last years. Last summer, (2006), we had 3 months of narry a drop of rain, except two occasions where it rained for a couple of days. The honey yields were exceptional, regardless. We have so much moisture retained in our soils because of winter rains, that it helped along with the drought conditions, especially with the plants with deep tap roots, and of that, there are many.
The blackberry flow was almost non-existent due to the weather that kept the bees in their hives for so much of the flow. That is one of the main flows here.
Have a beautiful day, greatest of this life. Cindi