Slow progress, looking good
Well, we may see this at our next field day after all! I checked all the hives yesterday to see how things are progressing. Almost every day I look from the outside at my four on the property where I have my male goats and the experimental hives. Activity levels have looked very good every time I look. At my own hives I was able to collect 11 frames of honey, which with the six I collected before brings me up to 17 frames so far. But, there is a LOT of honey on the hives, it just is not quite ready to collect.
The experimental hives look really good. The horizontal hive has built out to the middle of the hive, halfway back. The vertical hive has a full super the third box up and is working on the top box. It wasn't quite capped, but I wanted to wait until the field day to collect anyway. The little swam hive is really not building up very fast. I am not very hopeful it will be in any shape to overwinter, but it was a freebie, so nothing lost if we lose it. It has good activity and they seem to be working hard and aren't aggressive, but they just don't build up very much.
So, the good news: We got over two inches of rain in the past week, which really helped with the blossoms. The season seems a bit slow, but is progressing well. The bad news: The commercial beekeeper isn't going anywhere, he supered up his hives today. However, I am not worried about it anymore. I really think I will get enough honey anyway. I also think he won't have a great year because he put way too many boxes on each hive, so he won't get much. Also the land owner is putting cows in right next to his hives. The guy putting up the fence for the cows even moved the hives with his skid steer! All in all, I think he won't be back next year. Now that he has supers on his hives, he can't really move them because they don't stack up neatly on the truck. So, the bottom line is that in spite of him I think I will get an average honey year. Definitely not spectacular, but good enough.
By the way - we got two new puppies! They will be here to meet everyone at the August 6th field day. We named them Honey and Maple.