My queen bee arrived today from Lappe's Bee Supply. She arrived at the local post office in the wee hours of the morning and I was promptly notified. I immediately drove to the Post Office, rang the secret doorbell and took possession of my new queen.

I'm splitting a hive today - taking half the brood and nursing bees and leaving the existing queen in the hive with her half of the stash. The half I remove is being put into a brand new beehive, along with this new queen.

I'll keep you updated!

My beehives are about 50 feet from this beautiful Yoshino flowering cherry tree. Here, one of my gals prepares to collect sweet nectar....

Did a hive inspection yesterday. The bees survived winter and are rebuilding their stores. Spotted the queen - she has quite the swollen belly and will be popping out lots of eggs! She is laying already and some of the brood are hatching out now. :)

I am just about going crazy waiting for spring to arrive... still another month out, but beautiful sunny days like today just make me wish it was here already. I went out and got eggs this morning and just the sight of this made me think of Easter bunnies and spring. Sigh... One more month to go....

I built a new hive stand today, as I am expanding my beekeeping operation. This is identical to my other stand; it can hold one or up to three hives. It was sunny and warm today... My beehives were very very active. I am so excited now moving into spring!

As the days lengthen, the hens kick it into gear! We have twenty-five hens and get 18 to 20 eggs a day. That will likely increase into Spring. Ahhhhhh ... SPRING! So course, yet still so far away....

With highs in the 50's and sunshine breaking through the clouds, this beehive was very active all day. Two weeks ago highs were in the teens - you can see the insulation panels still in place around and over the hive. Happy bees!

They have deleted their stores so I have candy fondant in the Vivaldi board atop the hive and today I added the Boardman.

The whole setup is not necessarily pretty, but it got them through winter. :)

We have a reliable system in our chicken run that basically self composts the chicken droppings. However, once a year we need to totally clean it all out. That happened this week. This is the pile of all the composted bedding and poop that came out of the coop, and it was all replaced with two cubic yards of medium bark mulch. We continue to add layers throughout the year so the chicken run is kept sanitary.

I am so ready for Spring. The raised beds are lifeless, covered in snow and everything is too cold. I know that in one month I'll be starting my tomatoes, so now I'm starting to enjoy browsing my gardening catalogs ...  About the only gardening-related thing going on right now is the work I'm doing with my beehives to keep them going through winter. So far, so good.  :)

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