I love whatever variety of bees I have. Perhaps they are sort of my variety as I have raised several of my own queens. The honey flow is done and I have left each hive the equivalent of four medium supers for the winter. I did not use any queen excluders this year and am pleased with the results. No swarms and it was much easier to deal with through the season. I only found a small amount of drone brood in the healthiest hive, in the fifth super up from the bottom. Otherwise the honey was not tainted and good to go.
The lack of aggression of the bees this year was sort of nice but hoping that isn't a bad sign either. There were plenty of bees overflowing the hives and lots of healthy brood in the brood chamber area. I've worked pretty diligently to clean up the hives the last few years and am going to do some more clean up and purging of frames and boxes this fall.
I have been at this beekeeping thing since 2003 and am now looking forward to the fruits of my labors from all the clean up. I should say the fruits of the BEES labor. Bees amaze me and it is very relaxing to go play with the bees who just do what the expression says......they are busy as bees. Since I now have so much drawn comb for my honey supers, the hope is to have two harvests next year or at least a small harvest in late to mid June.
Now to clean up my extraction equipment and go to the next beekeeping meeting to listen and pick the experienced beekeepers brains on several topics such as why my honey is so much darker this year than any other that I can remember. I have read a few books by experienced beekeepers lately and they have helped to stimulate my beekeeping brain to think through their thoughts and apply them. The art of beekeeping is sort of like dancing to me. I hope to dance with a few more hives next year and even if I do not get done everything I wish I could get done in the fall in winter in preparation, every little bit has made a difference.
Warm biscuits and honey tomorrow for sure.