I was standing next to one hive yesterday during orientation flights wondering why I waited so long to get into beekeeping. Actually I read an article about their problems and how well they're doing in urban areas, here I am. This is a hobby for me and my goal is to still have bees in the spring.
Mike, I have joined the local club and I'm learning a lot. They have a club apiary with langstroth hives, no top bar specific info but the insight into local flows and pest issues are very helpful. Joining the club was one of my best decisions, great folks.
I'm in the middle of a three week powdered sugar treatment for mites, this weekend will be the last one. I noticed some bad wings and saw a mite on one bee so I figured some treatment was in order. That's the only issue I've come across so far.
I did stumble across a milestone last weekend during the sugar treatment. In the past I was one of those " smoke just makes 'em mad " folks but I had the smoker going just in case and while I was putting sugar on one hive the smoke was drifting to the other one. When I opened the other hive (which is usually very runny) they were all kicked back and easy to work. I heard angels singing! It just takes a little time with the smoke on em.
Hey Jim, I saw you're here in town. I'm in the Old Arlington area close to Bruce Park. The Ag inspector told me there weren't many other keepers around but I did manage to catch a small swarm. The entire swarm would fit in the palm of my hand but there was a laying queen and I had hopes but the queen disappeared and the few bees soon moved on or died. Are you around here?