I realized suddenly that here it is the first day of summer. This is the turning point in the beekeeping season. After this point, the bees need the rest of the summer to build up for winter. I want my bees to make it through the winter and some honey for myself would certainly be a bonus. It would be a shame to waste those lovely Hawaiian queens because they have too much competition. So, I made a big decision. I moved all four of my hives to my friend, Dave VanAntwerp's property about six miles away from where I live. It is a very nice location, lots of forage and a history of producing honey for those who placed hives there. As far as Dave knows there are no beekeepers nearby. I don't want to risk wasting my hives trying to compete with 144 other hives at my place. Yes, it is a shame to not be able to keep bees on my own property, but I have repeatedly told others that if there is not enough forage for the bees, move the hives. I decided I should take my own advice. So, the big news is that our field days will now move to where the hives are. The address is: 1979 112th Ave. Otsego, MI 49078. There is an address sign, and I moved my "bee crossing" sign to put on top of it. I will put out my regular signs on field days. There is plenty of room for parking and a pole barn we can use if it rains. If you don't know Dave, he is the reason the Kalamazoo Bee Club exists. He was the main organizer to get it going, served as president for many years and got the website up and running. He no longer is associated with the club, but still loves bees and supports beekeeping. I am greatly appreciative of his generosity in letting me move my hives to his property and to do field days there.
This was the first time I moved horizontal hives. They actually were quite easy to move. I didn't have to strap them because they are one piece and have the latches. That was nice. All four hives were not heavy, which is not good, another reason it was necessary to move them. I am starting to think that the reason the small swarm hive I had last year never built up was the same issue. The overwintered hives had brood, but the swarm didn't, so it could never get ahead. My hives this year are in the same condition. I am curious to see how they do now with no competition and abundant forage. I am definitely going to document this experience.