We had a nice day to kick off the beekeeping field day season on Saturday April 23rd. It was sunny and in the low 60's. We spent the first part of the time looking at the equipment from the dead hives and discussing what happened. Then we set up two new hives in my yard which will be our experimental hives for this season. We added a new peaked roof to the horizontal hive which Fran donated. We set that up and a vertical hive. We will populate them with splits from my hives on May 14, 2014. This year we will focus on how to keep strong queens in the hives, whether by forcing swarming or making splits and taking the old queen out for the split and letting the hive raise a virgin queen in the old hive. This is especially important for the long hives, which tend to not naturally swarm.