Tuesday, April 6, 2010

B2: is ready to go

On Saturday, my second trip to Brushy Mountain Bee Farm in Moravian Falls, NC will commence to pick up this year's package bees. Besides my every loving co-conspirator we are also traveling along with our friend Melissa who will also begin keeping bees this year.

This is the location of the new hive in relation to “Club Fergie”. Bees need less than a foot of space between hives, so there is plenty of room in my bee yard for them to peacefully coexist. One thing about location, You want your bees to have a good mix of sun and shade. Morning Sun is crucial in getting the hive woken up and the foragers out working the day. By mid-day you ideally want the hive sitting in a shady location to help alleviate some of the heat in the hive. A bee hive will maintain a constant temperature of about 90ºF and anything the keeper can do to assist with this is beneficial for all parties.

Here it is “B2” ready to go. On Saturday we are picking up a 3lb package which includes about 10,000 bees and a queen. This will become their new home in a short time.

Just a little about this set up. Beekeeping requires certain equipment, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune to buy everything.

The hive components were purchased at Brushy Mountain last year in their “scratch and dent” shop. Since the hive it sitting outside and subject to everything nature has tho throw at it, it was not important for me that it start out perfect. I saved about 50% doing this. Another angle to take is to build your own components. The internet is full of great DIY plans.

The hive stand was built with scrap wood from “The Big Orange Depot”. Once again less than perfect wood in odd sizes can easily be acquired for $1.00 or less a board. The design for the stand was my creation influenced by simple engineering principals.

The hive pad was built using found materials. The landscaping timbers were found in the trash, the bricks came out of a dumpster, and the rocks were shoveled out of the street gutter. It was put together over a thick layer of newspapers that came out of recycling. The newspapers prevents growth of plant material from poking through the rocks. It took me a few months to acquire everything, but once I knew that I was going to need a new hive location last year the planning began.

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