When we first got into beekeeping, we knew it would be a multi-year effort before we got an appreciable harvest.
There are many reasons for this, including it taking a while for beehives to grow their populations, draw out comb, and save enough honey stores for winter- not to mention all of the issues that we, as beekeepers, may bring to the table (killing a queen, anyone?). Getting to the point of having a healthy colony with enough honey reserves to take the excess from could take two or three seasons at the best of times.
All of these are highly variable elements. Your bees may draw out combs quickly in year one, but they may be slow in year two. You may not kill a queen in year one, but you may kill two in year three. The issues that plague beehives do not follow a set schedule and could rear their ugly head at any time in your beekeeping journey.
To showcase this, we thought we would start a running log of our beekeeping journey year-by-year- what happened, what issues we ran into, what we did to fix them (if applicable), and what happened after. Many of the the issues we've seen in our hives have been minor, such that we wont be writing long articles on them in the slightest, but felt like this running log would give a good glimpse into the yearly variations and issues we've had all the same.
As we update this article with each passing season, be sure to check back as we update our progress!
Current Status: Beginning year three. We have two hives in winter hibernation that will be split to our max zoned rating of four hives in the spring.