There’s still lots to do at Ames even though the honey season is over. We have some ambitious plans for next year which I am slowly putting into action, first of which is that we will be offering pollination contracts to local Blueberry and Apple growers. We also plan to expand into several new apiaries and add a significant number of hives. Believe it or not, there is not much time to do-so. Current equipment is being wrapped and stored, as well as the new stuff as it comes in.
We’ve also made some changes to our source of Queens this year. After much consultation with local Keepers and Chris Bartel in Manitoba, we’ve decided to go with Arataki Bees from New Zealand. These are all mite-free and are less likely to carry the chalk-brood that plagued one of our hives last year. The Arataki bees also arrive in these neat little packages.
They are also a Carniolan hybrid, which has some slightly different behavioral traits than the more common “Italian Bee”.
Speaking of Arataki bees. They have a fantastic video illustrating how they care for their hives, which is another day in the life of the beekeeper. I do love their quad outer covers too!