Sawgrass Marriott – Post Hurricane Irma – Sept. 14, 2017

Aside from pesticides, disease and parasites.. how do you deal with major hurricanes two years in a row?

We made it back around from the storm. Irma clipped the area at a Cat 1. So, we got her at her weakest. That said, it’s scary to think about what would happen in a direct hit. Most damage was caused by “storm surge” flooding and trees falling. Good news is the bees at the property are on top of a hill. Flooding is a problem they will never face.

Sadly, some beekeepers I know lost entire yards to flooding down in Merritt Island, Fl. (John Graf-Miss Bee Haven Apiary -Shown in photo, above). It happens; that’s nature. Some of it is our fault and some of it is just the way it goes. But, we humans always persevere.

Everything was pretty much where I left it.

There are some downed trees on the property and debris spread out everywhere. Today, I went back to pick up the pieces and upload another colony from my yard inland Jacksonville to this one. My bee yard inland did take a hit and I lost 4 colonies to absconds for various reasons. It happens to the best of them.

Anyway, here’s the highlight reel:

Photo taken the day after the storm on Mon, Sept 11, 2017 at 13:49.

It looks almost exactly like the photo from the pre-irma entry right before this one. Except, for the downed trees and debris, everything is right where I left it.

This is a tree that went down in the “villa” area of the property. They say that pine trees snap and oak trees tip over. It’s definitely not always the case. Here we see the raw power this storm. Those are concrete slabs bowed up around the roots.

This is what the golf course next door looked like. (TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course #17)

This is a colony being uploaded to Bee Hill.

For the record, beekeeping is an expensive hobby to get started. Hopefully, you’ll be able to stay on top of things and keep going in a sustainable manner because even small colonies like this cost hundreds of dollars. Stay ahead of the curve.

Getting back on track

The main story arc is where I’m beating back hive beetles, brining up new colonies, making sure that the queens are healthy and getting ready for winter with feeding sugar water because we are in a full dearth. For the record, “DEARTH” means that there is no food / blooms for bees. Once upon a time, bees had an abundance of year round forage. These days, we have something called LAWNS that have zero blooms. So, there are times in the year that there is absolutely no food available and they starve. That is why sugar (refined) is being fed. This is for them to eat and make it though the winter with. Notice that I haven’t even mentioned mites. Due to the “hive beetle apocalypse” we have not had to deal with mites right away. The reason is because brood cycles were interrupted several times, thus, thwarting varroa mites. If all goes as planned, we’ll address mites in Nov.

Two more months of hurricane season left, folks. I hope we’re in the clear.

Till next time.

Matt