This is just an update to say that I am still doing okay as a beekeeper, even if I'm doing lousy as a blogger. My two hives are still plugging away. While I have some issues with small hive beetles and some attacks by yellowjackets, so far the bees seem to be holding their own. This is the first year I've really been able to harvest any honey from the hives. In the middle of August each hive probably had at least 20 lbs of honey in it. I harvested about a quarter of that. I'm not trying to get enough to sell, so I took only enough to provide me with honey for awhile, and to allow me to give out some to friends and family. The rest I left to make sure the bees had enough to get through the winter.
I started a third hive on a neighbors farm by removing a colony from the wall of his tool shed and putting them in a hive. The transfer seemed successful and the bees seemed to thrive for a couple of months. They badly cross combed the hive, but I didn't correct this immediately because I thought it best to let them build their strength up. I hadn't checked on them in about three weeks and decided it was time to go fix the cross combing in preparation for autumn. To my dismay I found the hive empty of bees and filled with wax moth larvae. So that is my first loss of a hive. I will have to clean it up well and hope to repopulate it with a captured swarm or a split next spring.
I'll get some pictures and posts up about the happenings this summer soon. This weekend I should be prepping the hives for winter and hopefully my luck will hold up and both hives will survive.