Here are a few things we beekeepers ought to be considering at this time of the year.
Somewhere I came across some good advice: Now is the time for beekeepers to be doing inside chores like building new equipment, repairing old equipment that needs it, reading some good beekeeping books and newsletters, your own beekeeping records --you ARE keeping them, right??, attending meetings of local beekeeping associations, looking over new beekeeping catalogs, ordering bees and equipment. It sounds like we have plenty to do this season. And do not forget to keep a close eye on food stores in the hives. You don't want your bees to starve to death.
Regarding bee packages and nucs: now is certainly the time to be ordering bees and queens. DON'T PUT IT OFF! You may discover that the suppliers have already sold out. So if you want bees, order them today from your preferred supplier. I've already ordered mine.
On Saturday, April 16 our club will offer a pickup of bees and equipment ordered from Walter T. Kelley. See http://www.kelleybees.com/ for prices and options. You must pay Kelley in advance and be sure to tell them that your order will be part of the Cheatham County Beekeepers Pickup on April 16. We must have a copy of your receipt with us in order to claim your stuff. (If your order is very large and we don't have room left in our vehicle for it, you have have to pick your order up yourself--or have it shipped.)
If you are new to beekeeping, think seriously about attending the Nashville Area Beekeepers Association Introductory Beekeeping Course. The 2011 NABA Introductory Course will be given February 16, 17, & 18 (6:00PM-9-00PM) and February 19, Saturday (9:00AM-1:30PM). This is a four-part course, not four individual courses. There also will be an optional Saturday for instructional help on hive and frame assembly on March
26 (9:00AM-2:00PM). See http://www.nashbee.org for more information.
NABA is an excellent club and we are always welcome to attend their monthly meetings held the second Sunday of each month at 2:00pm in the Ed Jones Auditorium of the Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville.
You may have heard that our own January Meeting was cancelled because of the weather. Don't miss our February 12 meeting at the Ashland City Library, starting at 9:30 AM. We will have the election of officers, you can pay your 2011 dues at $10 per family, and we will have the unveiling of our brand new web site--thanks to member Kevin Eggers. We are excited to offer this excellent new resource for beekeepers.
Not much going on in the bee-yard these days; but think Spring!
Blessings to you,