30 Aug

Beekeeping at Old City Cemetery

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The Cemetery’s volunteer beekeeper Ann Zudekoff inspects one of our hives.

We’re just at the end of our 2016 beekeeping year and the start of next season for our OCC bees. I’m pleased to say that we’ve made a great comeback from the spring, when we found that only one of our colonies survived last winter. But honey bees are remarkably resilient, and with a little help, we’ve built back up to five colonies, or “hives”. We were excited to have harvested about 85 pounds of absolutely delicious “Died and Gone to Heaven Pure Honey,” which is available for purchase in the office.

What’s going on in the hives now? As fall sets in, just about all of the seasonal flowers and trees have finished blooming, so there’s no natural food (pollen and nectar) coming in. The bees are re-arranging their living space inside the hive, contracting their brood-rearing area, and re-arranging their stored food immediately adjacent to the nursery for easy winter access , about urinary retention medication click here . It’s the beekeeper’s job to make sure they have enough food for the winter and, if necessary, supplementary feed them “artificial” nectar and pollen to make sure they have sufficient food stores for the winter.

Also, since nature sometimes plays unexpected tricks on us, a colony may try to replace its queen mother in late summer, for reasons known only to them. This attempt may not always succeed, and that’s indeed what happened a few weeks ago. So, we obtained a new queen and introduced her a few days ago, and I’m checking to make sure she was accepted. I’m happy to report that she was, so the colony should be able to continue its winter preparations and be ready to thrive and forage next spring. In the next few months, there’s not too much to do except to continue to monitor the colonies’ health and nutrition status.

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by while I’m there to ask questions and learn about our bees. If you ever want a “closer look” feel free to ask me or contact the office staff. You’ll need to be “properly attired” of course, and we can loan you a veil. 

—Ann Zudekoff, “Keeper of the Bees” for Piedmont Beekeepers Association and the Old City Cemetery

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401 Taylor Street
Lynchburg, Virginia 24501

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