Synopsis: In your second season of beekeeping use swarm control to create an additional colony. It will improve your beekeeping and provide insurance against calamities. Make plans now and buy equipment in the sales.
Going by the sound of the wind and the rain outside, the beekeeping season is now well and truly over. Entirely appropriately, as it was the autumn equinox on Saturday, the first of the equinoctial gales (Storm Agnes) is currently battering the west coast and I didn’t see a single bee when I checked the hives earlier.
It’s too soon to review the season but, with the National Honey Show approaching and end-of-season 1 sales from some suppliers, it’s not too soon to think about equipment needs for next year.
If 2023 was your first season then I hope it was successful … you’re allowed to define success using broad and generous criteria.
Do you still have the colony you started with? Did you manage to get any honey? Have you started feeding them and treating them to control Varroa?
If you can answer yes to those three questions then it was probably successful.
If you answered no to the last question then you need to get a move on to ensure that you have bees at the start of next season.
And, to be frank, it’s only if your bees are doing well at the start of next season that you can properly conclude that this season was a success. Getting the colony to the autumn is like being three under for the first nine holes of a round of golf … it can still all go horribly wrong 2.