have in our neighborhood many bird sanctuaries and areas that are
undeveloped and will likely remain so.
This means an abundance of trees and shrubs ideal for honey
foraging from early spring until late fall.
honey bees are gentle Italians with a new addition. Our
experiment for 2011 is genetic diversity. Having
heard Dr. Deborah Delaney lecture at the 2007 NCSBA summer meeting
about the lack of Honey bee Queen genetic diversity, I had long
considered adding a fresh strain to the apiary.
In April of 2011, I purchased a package of West Coast Cordovans with
a Carniolan/Italian Queen. Another consideration was to find
an open mated queen from an area free of the Africanized Honey
Bee. Thus I chose an apiary in northern California, despite the cost of overnight
shipping. I am excited about their
potential. As I write, they are building comb and have brood
in two of the three medium brood boxes. I must say a word
about the Cordovans...gentle, super golden, I am totally besotted
with them and want to add a colony next spring. The only
drawback would be a reputed tendency to robbing, but I would like to chance
that. They are beautiful as they forage!
bees are lovely and tireless, worthy of the awe they have
inspired over the centuries. Our
colonies are situated in our organic Terra Preta, or Amazonian Dark
Earth, garden area, protected from
intrusion. We are
utilizing eight frame medium sized hive bodies for both brood
chambers and honey supers.