Monday, November 21, 2016

Happenings From the Hive

A little over a month ago my dad and I attended the Fall Conference for the Missouri State Beekeepers Association or MSBA down at the Lake of the Ozarks. This was going to be the first time in 3 years I wasn't helping as Honey Princess or Queen and so I decided to volunteer and help head the Cooking with Honey Contest and Beekeeping Art contest. I had a blast doing it and we had a great turn out with several amazing entries. Along with the contests I was excited to listen to the speakers they had lined up. 2 of the best beekeepers in the country! I learned so much.

The first night of the conference is an awards banquet where numerous people receive awards for their contribution for the MSBA. I got to present the winners of the Cooking with honey and Beekeeping art contests. One thing that I wasn't expecting was that I was awarded Beekeeper of the Year. I was so shocked when the MSBA President announced my name I almost started crying! It was such a great honor and for me to have been chosen out of many many wonderful beekeepers in the state. It was just the night before at the board meeting that I was reading over the list of past winners recognizing many names of beekeepers who have mentored and taught me over the years. Many of whom have been keeping bees for 20+ years. For me only a 6 year beekeeper to win this award just means so much. This is such a great organization and I'm truly proud to have been involved with them for the past few years.

My awesome Plaque that I won! It's made out of a side board of a hive box.

Myself with the President of the MSBA

The funnest thing was that the next day I was writing a check and signing up for another beekeeping class to attend! I think that there is always room for more learning and with beekeeping things are always changing. If I want to live up to the title of Beekeeper of the Year I need to keep learning and bettering my skills as a beekeeper. I think in everyone's lives we never stop learning!

A little update on my honeybees from this year. We had 3 hives survive last winter and then I bought 1 more and caught a swarm bringing our summer total to 5 hives. I had 2 at my house and 3 at my parents house. 4 did well all season and but one grew week and eventually died this fall so we are currently down to 4. We harvested our honey late August. We didn't do as well as we were expecting but we still got around 40 pounds.

The bees are now settling down for winter. We have treated them for mites and I've made candy for them so they have something to eat if they run out of honey stores. Now we let them be and only check on them if it warms up above 50 degrees to check to see if they need more food. We will wait until spring before we do anything to extensive.