While our bees are overwintering in southern Florida and fattening up on nectar and high-protein pollen from the Brazilian Pepper Tree, we are working to keep the hives healthy so they can be productive when the spring comes.
We overwinter our bees in south Florida, where the warmth keeps them active throughout most of the winter months. The initial Brazilian Pepper bloom gives our bees a great head start for the cold months, but we have to monitor them carefully (especially the queens!) to make sure they will survive the winter and thrive in the spring. A good flow here means even our weaker hives should be able to come back and do just fine through the winter.
As the seasons change, our hives face certain risks, such as attack from parasites and being underprepared for the winter to come. From the mites feeding on our bees to the moths trying to destroy our hives, we have a lot of work cut out for us as we manage the safety of our bees. We must diligently check for signs of infestation and take steps to keep our hives as strong as they can be.
The late summer period is one of our least hectic, but most crucial times on Register Family Farm. With nectar production down and bee populations up, we have to focus less on making honey and more on the survivability of our hives. We're introducing new queens and making sure they're correctly mated so that they can lay a good pattern of workers and drones. A mistake here could spell doom for the hive.
Farm Traveler Podcast interviews Joseph Register about commercial beekeeping, from the risks and rewards of sending bees to pollinate California almond trees to the health benefits of pollen and how honey is gathered, this podcast packs a lot of information into fifteen minutes.