Aims and objectives for 23 season

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Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
2,046
Reaction score
1,076
Location
Gower, where all the fun happens
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
24 + a few nucs....this has to stop!
After removing the last feeder last October I was really glad to see the back of my bees and the season as it was non stop. Early January and I can't wait to get started again 🤣.
We often do 'a lessons' learned' after a season and I believe in the past also done one of these. I will get it started for this year and will try to feedback at the end of the season on whether I have achieved my objectives!!

I am sticking with my 20 ish hives so this year my focus is stock improvement and queen rearing. 2 particular areas I want to focus efforts and my resources on are: drone production using a couple of approaches and cells builder to improve the quality of Qcs and queens which were below par last year. I also want to take a lot of strong nucs into the winter for late/early season requeening, etc.

What are your plans?
 
Very weather dependent.. BUT:
raise more queens ( improve my grafting lack of skills!)
raise more nucs for resale.
Produce more early spring/summer honey as it sells better and no-one appears to sell it locally in any volume, preferring to wait until late August (by which time I have sold c60% of my crop)
Attract more swarms using bait hives (4 last year into our garden)

Overwinter more nucs for resale 2024
 
Produce more early spring/summer honey as it sells better
Didn't get a single jar of spring honey last year, it was too cold. I also sell my summer honey from early June as I extract as supers are capped.
 
My queens will be in their second Summer this year, so my aims are quite simple -

successfully manage swarming and raise nucs for sale, either this year or overwinter them.
attract a swarm this year - (none at all last year).
increase by one colony from own stock.
harvest enough honey to continue to provide my current customers needs.
and mainly
stop prevaricating, procrastinating and over thinking things and just get things done!!
 
significantly reduce hives after spring OSR and concentrate on cut comb and bee sales. Last year was best year ever as I harvested in excess of a ton of honey. I cannot repeat that this year with the fact I'm loosing my friends farm based workshop / honey room mid year that I've used for past 10 years. Alternative facilities locally are silly money and to expand I'd need investment in money and time, latter of which I don't have.

learn to avoid engaging with opinionated numpties on the forum who know not what they talk about.
 
10 year beekeeping anniversary this year, and have thus far been on a well trodden path of conventional learning and expansion (~20 hives now). Bees did exceptionally well last year, which, coupled with one of my main customers retiring has meant I actually start this season with stocks of honey. That is all well and good, but I didn't start beekeeping to make loads of money, in spite of what some may think. Managing that many colonies - let alone the thankless tasks of extraction, cleaning equipment etc. - whilst holding down a demanding job - has led me to conclude that this is a year of big change for me.

Plans for 2023 include:
  • drastically reducing the number of colonies I manage, and properly rationalising related kit
  • dropping the fixation on honey crop, taking less, and regarding it as a bonus - not an end in itself
  • no longer collecting everyone else's swarms. It’s sadly become a bit tedious now; and I’m not a public service
… and instead focussing on things which give me pure pleasure, including:
  • trying to improve my bees through small-scale queen rearing
  • developing interesting and more bee-friendly husbandry styles (including Warre beekeeping, and plans this year to try upstairs downstairs intrances combined with foundationless beekeeping and a lower- intervention inspection regime)
  • running two bait hives again (I get good success and enjoy the sport)
  • teaching SWMBO the craft, now that she has shown an interest and has her own (hot pink) hive
  • doing my Module 6 - which will get me to the 'Intermediate Theory' threshold - plus learning some microscopy skills
  • doing one (and only one) local farmers’ market - with an observation hive also; I do enjoy selling and engaging with the public … just not all the time :)
........ basically doing less, but getting more enjoyment and self-enrichment from the things I do do. Let's see how many of those aims I achieve !!
 
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Really want to get young spring queens in hives for the next season. Given experiences over the last few seasons, I'm now more strenuously investigating ways to get the colony to raise its own spring queen to replace the older one, rather than trying to introduce one/s I've raised.
 
Really want to get young spring queens in hives for the next season. Given experiences over the last few seasons, I'm now more strenuously investigating ways to get the colony to raise its own spring queen to replace the older one, rather than trying to introduce one/s I've raised.
Hi what’s the varroa situation on the mainland now..
 
Beekeeping:
  • Make increase to replace losses after wasp issues last Summer and have nucs to go into winter that don't get obliterated by the things this time around.
  • Rear queens more precisely.
  • Maintain (or improve yields) if possible- actually get a heather honey crop.
  • Get an apiary set up at work ready for the PhD student.
Business:
  • Improve my candle making/moulds and develop some form of approved cosmetic product(s).
  • Find more clients/vendors.
  • Do a craft fayre/market stall.
General:
  • Get my 'workshop' area tidy and consistently useable.
Ongoing from last season:
  • I'm overwintering a mating nuc, if they make it through I'll be very pleased.
 
Didn't get a single jar of spring honey last year, it was too cold. I also sell my summer honey from early June as I extract as supers are capped.
I wish too. I've never had Hawthorn honey
Last year I got two buckets of dandelion honey, for the first time ever. People went mad for it!

This year I'm downsizing. Five colonies are going.
 
I've got a new site, so stting that up and making increase for it. I'm also gonna try a rolling demaree or two, so maybe use Q cells produced for the increase
 
Aims for 2023-

- Try to be more efficient in inspections and travelling between apiaries.
- Be more ruthless with weak colonies and unite.
- Pick up a few more local clients.
- Raise more queens and take more nucs through winter.
- Try to maintain crop size to enable me to service my existing customers.
 
Moving from Essex to Devon later this year. My objectives are to rationalise my colonies. To sell off excess colonies and hives. They are all last years home raised queens, so I do not anticipate problems if sold early spring. I would like to take 3 colonies with me if I can find a suitable site. Might have problems selling the long hive, KTBH, and Warre, but will see.


Never had a problem with notifiable disease and all were healthy going into winter
 
Interesting thread.

This will be my first full season, having got my colony as a nuc last July. My Aims and Objectives are pretty simple:

  • to do the best I can for my colony
  • to not get too run ragged with things
  • to manage swarming effectively
  • to increase by 1 colony (should be able to do this with swarm control)
  • to harvest some honey
  • to learn as much as I can from my colony/colonies
  • to enjoy the experience
  • to be active in my BKA

I think that will cover most of it, i'm looking forward (with a degree of nervousness and expectation) to the ride!
 
Interesting thread.

This will be my first full season, having got my colony as a nuc last July. My Aims and Objectives are pretty simple:

  • to do the best I can for my colony
  • to not get too run ragged with things
  • to manage swarming effectively
  • to increase by 1 colony (should be able to do this with swarm control)
  • to harvest some honey
  • to learn as much as I can from my colony/colonies
  • to enjoy the experience
  • to be active in my BKA

I think that will cover most of it, i'm looking forward (with a degree of nervousness and expectation) to the ride!
Those are all excellent aims. If it’s a hobby don’t turn it into a drudge. I got bogged down with honey volumes. Now I don’t care, I just like to enjoy my bees. I have 13 colonies and want six max. Some I will gift to my BKA members others will get united in the spring.
 
Moving from Essex to Devon later this year. My objectives are to rationalise my colonies. To sell off excess colonies and hives. They are all last years home raised queens, so I do not anticipate problems if sold early spring. I would like to take 3 colonies with me if I can find a suitable site. Might have problems selling the long hive, KTBH, and Warre, but will see.


Never had a problem with notifiable disease and all were healthy going into winter
Where abouts in Devon are you moving to? I grew up in Devon and have family there with potential for an apiary
 

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