Fledgling beekeeper here. Just beginning the process of becoming a keeper of these magnificent little creatures.
We presently have 3 very long standing feral colonies in our 7 acre orchard that have been here as long as I can remember and I've lived here over 23 years. (why did I never think to start raising them until now? Scratches head!)
At one time we had 4 tree hives but it appears that the 4th is no longer active.
We're having a warmer than usual December with temps in the high 60's during the day but lows into the high 20's/low 30's.
Our orchard is loaded with yellow wild mustard and fiddleheads are on the way. We'll have the mustard until we disc in the late spring.
I'll be scouring the posts looking for good info on how to take advantage of what seems to me to be a very healthy population of bees and begin some new hives.
Signed up for two beekeeping classes this coming spring (one in January one in March) and I think I have enough time to put together my tools and gear before they swarm.
My primary interest is in natural beekeeping as we garden organically and seldom use sprays of any kind on our farm. It seems logical to me that if these 3 hives have sustained for this many years without intervention that they are a healthy crew and I'd love to see them grow in numbers.
Cheers to all! http://www.flickr.com/photos/begonias-photos/sets/72157628390583389/