Beekeeping in Michigan

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt

Well, it is that time of year when it is time to start collecting the honey.

I started the spring with 2 nucs and one colony that wintered over well. This is the first time I have used nucs and am very satisfied. The bees were ready when the blueberries blossomed.

I set one of the hives I lost over the winter up by the house so I could extract the honey when I found the time. It never happened. One day I came home from work and there was a swarm waiting to get in. It took about 15 seconds. I lifted the cover, slid it back a bit, and shook it. Put the cover back on and they moved right in. Seems to be one of my stronger colonies this year. It swarmed a couple weeksa ago but that is another story in itself.

A week or so later there was a swarm on one of my apple trees up near the house. I found a hive and shook them in. The next day there was a swarm on my peach tree! I had to scramble to find a hive for that one!

Last year I had an empty hive setting by the patio in the back of the house. A swarm found it and moved in. I set it in the lawn mower trailer and started moving it a little at a time to get it across the pasture to the area I keep my other hives. I realized I couldn't move it across the pasture with out my mules extracting some honey so I stopped for a better time. They seem to like the front yard but now I have 4 hives within 30 feet of my house and one is less than 10 feet from the garage door. They don't bother anyone, but then many who happen to stop by probably don't realize what they are parking next to. My plan is to set them on a trailer after I take off the supers and move them for a few days and then relocate them where they belong. I think this weekend will be spent creating a better apiary than I have now.

I extracted about 85 lbs. Tuesday night. Not quite as light as last years honey but still very good color and flavor that can't bee beat!

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