Before I got started last year I attended bee-keeping school and learned "enough" - really it felt like a crash course in beekeeping, because what I really learned came from "doing" and "seeing" the activity in my own hive. An issue I ran into a lot last year was overcrowding. When you have overcrowding your risk swarms. Something I hope never happens!! I had no idea that my bees would expand as quickly as they did and I wasn't prepared for that growth. Thankfully, I found myself a wonderful mentor who is extremely knowledgeable in beekeeping. She came to my rescue multiple times last year. I don't know what I would've done without her. She taught me tons and let me borrow supplies when things got tight.
Now that I am familiar with the natural progression that occurs in a hive, I think I'll be better prepared this year. We had a mild winter so my bees survived and since the temps have been so warm, the bees have already been hard at work bringing back pollen. So, since they're back at it so am I. I just purchased my second hive, which I'm now in the process of pimping out to match my other hive. I know this year will bring new challenges. One being - splitting my old hive and hoping that my bees recognize the split and create a new queen for the new hive. Then, I just have to hope and pray that things take off and flourish like they did last year.
My new hive is freshly painted and ready and waiting for the split. I just have to determine the best time and place to do it. The temperament of my bees is different this year, so I'm a little cautious about setting up a second hive on my own property. I might try to find a local farmer looking for a little extra pollination or perhaps someone with some land to let me set the hive on their property where I can come and manage it. We shall see.
I'm looking forward to my second year of beekeeping. I'm sure my beeutiful bees will provide some great new blogging material! Hang on tight. This is going to be a crazy ride!