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Tag: natural beekeeping

And the hive build continues!

And the hive build continues!

We finished installing a removable bottom board, built the roof, and installed #8 mesh on the bottom of the hive. Our next goal is to cut the top bars to fit the hive and then coat a strip on the bottom of the board with beeswax so that the bees have something to work off of.

 

Hinges will probably be next. Some people build them with hinges, some people just lift the entire roof off and set it to the side.   Because the kids will be working with the bees too, the hinges will make it easier for them to get into the hive. No need to lift the heavy roof off- just lift it up!    We primed and painted the entire exterior- including the roof for a little extra protection under the tin. We left the interior bare, as the bees don’t need to be chewing on paint.  🙂

 

The part that we’re most concerned about right now is getting the entrance placement right. That will probably be the last thing we do before we put the bees in the hive.   You’ll see different types of entrances on every hive you see.  We think we’re going for a non-traditional entrance, but we’re doing a bit more research before we decide whether we’ll be doing this or not.  It’s a bit more work than just picking a side and drilling some holes in the sides of the hive. We have wasps to contend with, local hives that may rob ours-  and critters of all sizes that will try and eat the bees, honey or both. We want to be sure we are doing everything we can to make our hive defensible, but also comfortable for the bees. That first year is extremely critical for new hives. If we can build it in a way that will help our bees thrive this summer and successfully overwinter- we’ll be in great shape for collecting a bit of honey AND comb next year.

Topbar Beehive Build

Topbar Beehive Build

Our bees have been ordered so it’s time to get on the beehive build!

  This is one of our goals to being a bit more self sufficient- bees will provide us with wax for candles and bodycare products, a little honey for our teas- and pollination for our gardens. Needless to say, we’re over the moon with excitement!

First we started out with 2 inch thick pine boards. We went this route, as we figured the thicker the body, the better chance the bees have to survive our winters here in North Idaho. While milder than Minnesota- they certainly can get long, especially if you’re living up in the mountains.    We painted the body with a latex based primer and latex exterior paint.   We chose a drab green instead of bright white because we want the hive to be camouflaged as hive theft has become a bigger concern as of late.

We’ll be putting hardware cloth along the bottom, and build a track to allow a bottom board to be placed down there as well for the fall and winter months.

The top will be built as soon as we have the topbars themselves placed into the hive for correct measures.  We plan on doing a peaked roof for water shed as we can get a lot of rain where we’re currently at.  We’ll put some tin on the top to keep it nice and dry.

The bees were ordered for April pickup- so we have plenty of time yet to get ready- we’re just a bit excited.

We’re looking forward to putting this hive to use this year- and will write up regular progress updates it’s first year.  We do not expect to take any honey the first year as they’ll need it for overwintering,  but we’ll have plenty to document!