In 2016 we added a few hives of Italian honey bees. Being new Bee Keepers has its fair share of perils and risk. We harvested 10 jars of honey from these and then we had an especially harsh winter in 2018. Our Hive placement and lack of beekeeping experience most likely led to their demise. So after sitting out 2019, we cleaned our hives changed locations and moved forward. Bees are an essential piece of the overall environment and are responsible for pollinating the vast majority of the world's crops. Not to be overlooked is how delicious and healthy natural local honey is.
There are many choices for Bees available. Your most popular choices include Italian, Russian, Hybrid, and Saskatraz. So we picked Saskatraz Bees based on their hybrid vigor. They are a relatively new breed that was developed in Saskatchewan Canada. The trait that had us the most interested was their resistance to mites. Mites have been central in the colony collapse. Tracheal and Varroa mites are the varieties that have contributed to current beekeeping troubles. Noth Russian and Saskatraz Bees have show resistance to the mites.
Here we are in 2020 on 4/21 the day before earth day we loaded four new packages of Saskatraz Bees into our hives. All four had healthy queens and were very active. With our knowledge gained, we moved the hives to higher elevations that garner more sunshine throughout the year. If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook we will keep you posted with pictures of the trials and tribulations of bees. We use mostly Warre hives. Although we do have a few Langstroth hives which are by far the most popular we have created a mix to see which we ultimately like the best.
Placement changes focused on getting the Ivy Croft Bees closer to the areas where they are needed the most. The orchard and gardens are the number one priority. The Orchard is in year four and contains Apple, Peach, and Plum trees. The final placement is in a more remote area of the farm but still has access to many acres of clover loaded pasture. With all of the natural environment and new placement, we are hopeful that the Saskatraz bees will do well here.