2017 is shaping up to be a bang up year for us here at Eco Honeybees.
The biggest change for us this year is that we will be discontinuing the sale of Top Bar hives. There are many reasons for this and we aren’t making this decision lightly because we love our top bars. After having dealt with top bars all over the DC Metro area for seven seasons and being able to compare them to comparable Langstroth hives over the same period of time, we’ve come to the conclusion that the top bar hives do not have the same success rate as the Langstroths. This is not to say that we’ve haven’t had many clients who’ve had a lot of success with top bars but, overall on a bell curve, this type of hive has diminished chances of success. While all the work and documentation we’ve done over the years comparing the two hive types probably qualifies as solid research, we’re not going to publish it as such. The main reason for this is that beekeeping and hive type data is NOT the same the country (or even the state) over. We believe our conclusions hold true for the weather patterns in the Washington, DC Metro area. Were our company in central South Carolina, chances are the results of our research would be very different. The lesson to be learned here is that, just because something works in one area, doesn’t mean someone in another area will have the same success. Regretfully there are a lot of people out there who purchased the new Australian Honey Flow hives who have learned this after making a sizable investment. But that’s another one of our pet peeves.
We’ll continue to support our existing Top Bar clientele but that mostly entails transferring their bees and top bar comb into new Langstroth boxes. Should anyone be interested in a more in-depth explanation of our reasoning behind this decision, please call Larry at 703-801-2281. Emailing an answer back requires enough of a novella that it’ll take a while to give written replies.
Otherwise 2017 will continue along mostly unchanged from 2016. We’ll continue using our new mouse-proof bottom boards. We’re happy to announce that we have seen absolutely ZERO mouse infestation on any of our hives with this new in-house designed bottom board.
Our waiting list continues to fill up rapidly. We’re seeing a sharp increase in commercial clients this season to include several country clubs. These commercial clients tend to purchase 2-6 hives at a time so this starts to tax our capacity quickly and fills up or list of available hives. So, as the demand increases, it behooves you more and more to not procrastinate on getting onto our waiting list.
We’re seriously starting to look around for an employee. Being that our business model is unique, we’re having to feel our way through this process. With all the success we’re having, managing and controlling all our client’s hives during the spring is becoming more than a one person job. We’ve had a a lot of success with college and high school interns (and will hopefully again have more of them this spring) but we’re quickly seeing the need of having a someone with their own vehicle out there doing monthly hive inspections after having been trained and vetted by Larry so that he can concentrate more on acquiring and setting up new clients. We can promise you won’t get rich but you will make a positive difference in this part of the world.