Dale Hinkle keeps bees in Monroe County but often makes the trek to Blount County where he is a vital part of the Blount County Beekeepers Association. He is the association treasurer, a position that he has held for several years.
Dale is one of the few beekeepers in the area to raise his own queens.
How many hives do you keep?
Describe the woodenware you use for your hive bodies and your honey supers (deeps, mediums, shallows, wood, plastic, etc).
Deeps for brood; Illinois for supers.
Do you use screened bottom boards? Slatted racks?
How do you feed your bees? When (please provide months, not just Spring/Fall) do you feed? What do you feed? What equipment do you use for feeding? Do you use any supplements?
I feed protein patties at the end of January and use a top hive feeder if it gets wet in February. I feed high fructose corn syrup.
How and when do you treat for varroa mites, nosema, tracheal mites, and hive beetles? Are there any other practices you use to minimize these pests/diseases?
I treat for varroa mites with Apiguard in the fall. I treat for nosema in the fall.
What method(s) do you use to minimize swarming (hive body reversal, checkerboarding, etc)?
I add deep boxes and split hives in March or April.
When do you put honey supers on? How many do you put on at a time?
I put on Illinois boxes after the apple blossoms bloom.
When do you take your off from your honey supers?
The last week in June.
How do you build up brood in the Spring for a colony that has overwintered?
In the last week of January I put protein patties on and a 50/50 syrup in February until the honey flow starts.
Do you requeen? How often? Where do you get your queens?
Yes, I requeen yearly or as needed. I raise my own queens.