SugarGrove Apiaries


Leave a comment

On the Hunt for Swarms!

Though spring is getting off to a slow start here in South-Central Kansas we are quite excited about beekeeping again this year!  Winter left us with some mixed feelings, as we lost three of our hives, bringing us down to just five at this time.  These remaining hives look strong and we’re hopeful that they’ll produce well this year.  However that does leave us with fewer hives than we’d like and we’re hopeful that you, dear reader, might be able to help us out with that.

Two years ago we caught thirteen wild swarms of bees, while last year we only managed to capture three or four.  We’d love to recruit you to be our eyes and ears this season and let us know if you see or hear of any wild swarms in your area that aren’t already claimed by another beekeeper.  For your assistance you can count on some sweet repayment of honey from our hives.  So what do you look for?  And why are the bees swarming in the first place?

Swarming occurs when a colony of bees outgrows the space they’re living in.  This is the way that honeybee colonies reproduce and form new colonies.  Approximately 60% of the worker bees will leave with the queen in search of another home, while a new queen is bred in the original hive.  You’ll mostly likely see a swarm hanging off the side of a building, on a tree branch, or even on a parked car.  While stationary the swarm really doesn’t pose a threat to you; they’re mostly focused on protecting the queen at the center of the swarm and sending out scouts to look for the new hive location.  Here are a few examples of what you might see;

Photo credit left to right: PerfectBee.com, EssexCountyBeekeepers.org, DNAInfo.com

I also found a video that shows a swarm nearby its original hive.

So if you’re willing, please keep an eye out around your property and in the places that you frequent this spring and summer.  If you see a swarm please let us know by emailing sugargrove.apiaries@gmail.com or calling/texting us at (316) 804-8765.  We very much appreciate your assistance in rebuilding our apiaries!

Aside from swarm hunting I (Ryan) have been trying to find time to work with our backlog of beeswax and refine it into some usable products, as well as search for some other marketing opportunities.  There may be a solar wax melter in our future.  Ken has set up a queen castle and is attempting a new venture of making lots of nucs and splits this year, but that’s a story for another time.  We’re mulling over the idea of attending the farmer’s market here in Newton for the first time this year, and if you feel strongly that we should, please let us know!  There’s still honey available!

All the best,

Ryan

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Will you be around for Fall Fest?

Will you be around for Fall Fest at Bethel College this weekend?  If so, we will be too!  Though we don’t have any official booth on the grounds, I (Ryan) live quite close to the college and am happy to meet up with you to deliver some honey.  Just drop us a line by email or phone/text (316-804-8765) and we’ll figure something out.

IMG_20171013_164936369_HDR

$7 for 1lb bottles, $14 for 2lbs

IMG_20171013_165001253

We now have comb honey for sale in some cute jars. $10 for a sweet experience many people haven’t had!

 

Regardless of whether or not we see you or do business this weekend, we hope you’re doing well and have a wonderful Fall!

Ryan and Ken


Leave a comment

We’re Still Here!

Customers and friends, sorry we’ve been out of touch for a while.  Ken and I have had a very busy year so far.  Apart from normal day jobs and responsibilities, some significant life events have occurred for both of us; I got married in March and Ken’s oldest daughter was married in June as well, so we apologize that we haven’t kept you up to date on our beekeeping activities this year.

We’re still here, however, and have had some good success with our hives so far.  We currently have 11 hives in three locations around Harvey and Marion county, and we anticipate pulling honey from 5 or 6 of them.  You may be wondering when you can buy honey from us; the answer is soon!  We’re actually planning on pulling supers from hives at the end of this week and extracting honey on Saturday!

After this weekend we will be selling honey (hopefully) at the Harvey County Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays, or directly to you outside of market times.  Feel free to send a message here, on Facebook, or to our email if you’d like to purchase some honey and we’ll figure out a way to get it to you.

We’ll be selling 1lb bottles for $7 and 2lb bottles for $14 again, with the possibility of comb honey for $12/package depending on our harvest this weekend.  Thanks for your continued support; we really appreciate it!

Ryan
Sugargrove Apiaries

P.S. I’ve taken some photos and videos during some of our work this year, which you can check out on our Facebook page.  Let us know if there’s a process you’d like to see documented or are curious to know more about!