Monday, December 16, 2013

Honeybee order for 2014.

Today had to call in sick.  Don't like doing that but miserable.  Just on line a few minutes then back to bed.

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Checked beehive yesterday.  Happy to see bees still there and healthy looking.  Just pulled one bar, briefly and partially, to check.  They started flying out instantly.  So closed again.

I have foam and newspapers in the roof of the beehive to help with warmth.  Only one of the 3 openings is open. 

Went online to check varieties to order for beehive #2.  The main choices are Italian and Carniolan. 

Reading up (also here) on advantages and disadvantages of the subspecies - Italian honeybees are gentle, forage widely, less likely to swarm.  Numbers are slower to build up.  Resistance to disease and mites might be an issue. The queen has a light golden color that is easy to see.

Carniolans build up populations quicker but swarm more quickly too.  They may be more disease resistant than Italian bees.  The darker queen is more difficult to see.

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I decided to go with Italian bees again.  The deciding issues were swarm tendency.  I still don't know why my numbers dropped so much late fall, but I wonder about swarming.  

Disease resistance and cold tolerance would be major reasons to go for Carniolan bees.  I am still thinking about them for future hives.

So I reserved a box of Italian honeybees.  They arrive in April so it's a long way away.  I like to plan ahead.


  1. Anonymous11:05 AM

    - Just stopped in to wish you and those you adore the happiest of holidays! I do hope you're back to feeling 100% in plenty of time to enjoy the season.

    Chicken soup! It's good for what ails you! :)

    Best wishes,

    Your Ridgefield Neighbor

  2. Thank you! Yesterday I went back to work but maybe shouldn't have. Today back to what passes for normal. Have a happy holiday!