I was wondering about your honey harvest this year in NW Washington. I had a great year in 2015 (60 lbs pe hive) but this year I had no stores to speak of. I have four hives. I have been feeding for over a month now and they are starting to build up a winter food supply. I really expected a good year because of the early warm weather. I did not even get a single frame of honey from the strongest hive I placed at my friend’s lavender farm. I watched and the colony was definitely foraging like crazy. No signs of robbing or excess dead bees. I am wondering if this was a bad year for anyone else up here?
This is my first season back to beekeeping after 55 years away from it. I started mid April with three Nuc’s n a swarm mid May brought my hive count to four. I did a split July into a five frame Nuc ! Thought I’d be okay n have five to GO thru winter with but Wrong ! I sugar tested n found mites. Long story I delayed treating with something couple weeks because of business, time n weather … Lost my two colonies within several weeks then… I used the die-outs to my advantage using the extra frames of honey super honey to fatten up my three other still healthy (I tested once more) with only 0 to 2 mites per 300 bees… For luck I sugar dusted … Figured nothing wrong with trying this as the bees would clean themselves again n mites would fall thru my SBBoards…
I’ve only harvested four pints of delicious honey from partial frames here n there in my die-outs to get a TASTE of my first "wee- harvest since the 1950’s n 60’s… Yummy ! It’s been a learning curve this first season back with all the new issues n critter effecting bee colonies now. Ohhhh for the “Gôd Ole Dáys” again !! I’d call my 2016 season successful somewhat as I still have 3 out of my 5 hives still alive n well, lots of built out frames of wax (even in the die-outs to start season #2 2017 with, I was able to fatten up health hives with plenty of full frames of honey n several frames left for backup…
Not sure being my first year if you’d call that a good honey season or not. Don’t have anything to compare it with Barb. Ohh I live SE of Seattle between Renton n Issaquah in a semi Urban location… (My backyard)…, .
Well, got to get my second cup of morning coffee (Saturday). Have a great weekend n happy beekeeping.,