News From Ozark Cedar Hives - Jan 2022
Kathy and I want to greet you with the love of Christ and pray that the recent Christmas season was blessed by His love and that 2022 will be full of His presence. We spent a week with our daughter and husband in Ohio in December. Time with family is always the best.
You might remember that in 2020 I came down with lymphoma cancer. The first five months of 2021 were no fun either. With my immune system compromised I got Covid and the pneumonia that followed. The antibiotics caused a very bad intestinal infection. But praise God in early May I finally began to recover. Now I feel 100% in health and strength.
I must give enormous praise to Kathy, my son, his wife, my two grandsons and some friends who gave many days in the shop producing hives to keep the business running. Sales were less in 2021 than the previous year but just what we could handle.
We are offering the same hive products this year. Prices will be the same as well. We have had some delays in lumber supply. So, we have decided to order our own band saw mill. It should arrive next month and we will be able to saw our own boards. My grandsons got to run one for a neighbor and are excited to have one of our own.
We have a supply of lumber on hand and more drying so we are confident to be able to fill all the orders.
Our own bees overwhelmed us again in 2021 with an incredible harvest. In short, we harvest nearly 250 gallons off 20 hives. Thankfully we had good mid-summer rains. Our hive maintenance plan again served us well. Basically we treat mites with Formic Pro in April and late August. We start adding empty supers in April to stay ahead of the bees. My philosophy is let them swarm but by adding space delay the swarm later in the heavy nectar season. We harvest in early June, mid-July and Sept. This still left an excessive amount of honey for winter.
Speaking of swarming, my latest observation is: I have hung several swarm traps well stocked with old comb and scent. None of the traps caught swarms. I do usually get 2-3 swarms but in empty hives (dead outs) I have left in the apiary set up as a swarm traps.
Last winter’s extreme cold did give us 25% losses, but seemed to be only where less wind protection was provided. This year I wrapped foam board on those hives. I also put a foam board under the top cover of all hives. But, of course, being careful that each hive has top ventilation.
We would love to hear from you. Let us know how you and your bees are doing. We look forward to helping you with your beekeeping needs during 2022.
In Christ’s love,
Bob and Kathy Owen