Beekeeping in Vermont...

I like January in Vermont. Is it because the lakes and ponds are frozen and ice fishing is in full swing? No, I like to fish but that’s not it…Could it be that the days are getting longer with the sun setting later and later hinting at the summer to come? No…but it is nice to drive home from work with some light still haunting the sky. HMMM..  Could it be that the Vermont Farm Show is during January and the VBA Winter meeting is scheduled?
I took December off from keeping bees, working on frames, mentoring etc… But now, the unofficial start of Vermont Beekeeping (my view) is approaching and with it my desire to get started is kindled.  I mean really, a whole month off from beekeeping duties. I guess that is part of the benefit of being a sideliner. But now I am raring to go.
The basement is filling with last year’s bear damaged frames; hive bodies, and supers waiting for repair. The shopping list for new frames and foundation is developing with the only limiting factor being how much to I want to grow. We’re a modest apiary with only about 25 hives. I keep toying with the idea of growing but if you have read any of my previous postings you know that I keep a full time job. And, that need to keep food on the table and a roof over my head is always in tension with growing the apiary. Maybe we can go to 30 this year? I do think I will take Mike Palmer’s advice and begin the process of developing local nucs for sale. If all goes well there should be at least 10 available for 2014. This year we hope to ramp up our candle making capabilities, hopefully enter some honey shows, and travel to Pennsylvania for EAS 2013.
So with the VBA meeting just a week and a half away I look forward to seeing some of our beekeeping friends.  They are a good bunch always willing to give an encouraging word and sage advice. Here’s to a blessed 2013 starting with a great VBA meeting and hopefully the right amount of rain and plenty of warm sunny days wooing those lovely blossoms to bloom.