Sweet 16 Apiary
What started out with just being curious about the natural world, has lead us to this path of a small business. Built primarily to sustain itself, as all funds go back into the business to help the Bees and educate others to understand the value of Honey Bees, Native Bees, Pollinators and the environment required to support them.
Our name honours every member of our family with all of us being born in connection to the 16th. The logo, created by our son, highlights the makeup of our American and Canadian roots as well as accenting the sweet scripted honey lettering and bold hockey sweater numbers that further highlights the diversity of our family.
Why would we start a business keeping bees when there is very little money and a lot of risk especially with Colony Collapse Disorder, pesticide overuse and Varroa Mites?
Partly because of all of those things, they need help and we can provide some of that help, but more importantly to educate others. We are just regular people who are curious about the world, saw a need and are trying to do our part to help folks understand the importance of these amazing creatures.
If we can reach people and make them think about how they interact with the environment, specifically with lawn use and pesticide use, then we are being that change we want to see in the world.
Whats happening now?
Summer is when Mites become a main concern as the hive population starts to wane because of lack of resources. This known in beekeeper speak as "The Dearth". Bees can become more defensive and stronger colonies can search for weaker colonies to rob out their honey stores which can decimate a colony. This action called robbing is often a violent and very busy behavior to witness. You will see bees trying to get into any nook or crack there is on the hive. Beekeepers can manage this by having strong colonies with just enough room for them to manage. They can also put the entrance reducer on to limit how much of the entrance is available making it easier for the guard bees to protect.. If a robbing situation happens, one tactic is to spray down the hives being robbed and put wet bedsheets or towels over the hives to seal them off. Depending on how much floral resource there is locally determines how long or even if there is a dearth. This is where having a pollinator garden or even large fields full of clover can help as this lessens the period of no nectar or pollen resource and can keep the queen laying well into the fall..
We are beginning to gauge interest in Hive Tours at Walther Farm. If you are interested please fill out the form so once we begin we can contact you to participate in this amazing program we have out together
Mite management will continue to be monitored and based on the counts we will figure out how best to treat if necessary
We are currently managing 11 honey bee colonies in our yard. 1 Top Bar Hive, 1 Nat Hive (2 colony system), 1 hive we are helping beta test, 1 Warre Hive, 4 Langstroth Hives, 2 Nucleus Colonies for a more sustainable and complete learning environment of the various beekeeping practices.
We also manage 6 Langstroth hives and 1 Queen Castle (3, 3 frame colonies in 1 box) at Walther Farm