2022 still has a couple months to go, but there’s no time like the present to plan for 2023’s beekeeping season.
In our apiaries, we’re focused on getting a high percentage of hives through the winter. We started laying the groundwork for a successful 2023 back in August when we focused on feeding. Good nutrition helps ensure the bees are producing healthy, robust fat-bodied bees that will help the hives through the winter.
Once the cold weather kicks in, will take advantage of the warmer days to peek into the hives and ensure the resources are near the cluster of bees. On those coldest days, you don’t want the frames of honey to be three frames away; you want it to be adjacent to the cluster so they can stay well fed and produce sufficient heat to keep the queen and any brood warm.
In the summer of 2022, we took frames of bees from our biggest, most productive hives and created nucs. We then added a queen and monitored the hive status to make sure she had a successful mating flight. These nucs usually burst into spring with powerful growth and become robust hives.
Each March, we sell several dozen of our over-wintered nucs to our customers. Pre-sales are already underway and we have less than 30 left. If you’ve been thinking of adding a new hive to your bee yard in 2023, these nucs are a great way to do so.
By signing up to get one of our remaining over-wintered nucs, you’ll get a nucleus hive that will quickly grow to fill a large box or two and be ready for the spring honey flow. You also get bees that are acclimated to the local climate as all our nucs are over-wintered in our bee yards in the Appalachian Mountains near Ashville.
Once our over-wintered nucs are sold out, we start selling our spring nucs. These will have a queen that was born and mated in 2023 and is raring to go. We also accept pre-sales for our spring nucs and we fill orders in the order in which you place them. Spring nucs are usually available in April.
Of course, the weather will influence our nuc production. We‘ll let you know when we scheduled our pick up days so you can swing by the office and get your nuc.
Whichever nuc you buy, it will include five frames in a Pro-Nuc or similar box. Each nuc will include at least three frames of brood, a frame of food, and a frame of foundation to accommodate their rapid growth. Of course, we recommend you give them more room right away to avoid getting queen cells and a possible swarm.
If you’d like more information on how to raise your own bees, split your hives, treat your bees, and harvest honey, you might be interested in our beginning beekeeper course.