First Things First

The bees need a home. They arrive on Block Island around April 10th and they’ll need a place to live. There’s a lot more to this than you might imagine. Not that it’s not doable, but whooee.

The hive will go near the pond.

The brush needs to be cleared from the area where the hive will go, but that will have to wait until the snow melts.  In the meantime, crank up the space heater. We’re going out to the workshop to build a Langstroth Beehive. Mary Beth will build the frames  — 50 of them. And her husband Ray, an extremely talented carpenter, will build the deep hive frames and the supers.

The man can work a hammer!
The man can work a hammer!

The picture shows one of the supers with 10 frames inside. The bees will build their honeycombs on these frames. When it comes time to place the hive, we’ll have to be careful to get it exactly level or the combs won’t be straight and we won’t be able to pull them out of the supers.

MB: I started with every intention of getting all the frames done today, but I forgot to factor in the dogs, Ray and the fact that I’m always trying to figure out how do things quicker. Never mind that there is usually a reason to do it the other way.

First there was the carrot cake I promised Ray — bribed is the word — if he would go get the finish nailer from the job site. Then the dogs got bored and I had to run them so they wouldn’t drive me crazy while I was working with sharp objects.

Kia & Sage
Kea & Sage

Finally, there’s the realization that if I had actually built the jig for the frames, things might have gone a LOT faster. So much for my time-saving ideas.

Some other things that gave us pause as we worked:
• Do we put the rough side of the recycled cedar that we’re using for the hive bodies in or out? Decided out.
• Is the spacing between the frames in the hive bodies and supers right? It seems like a lot of space. Measured it all again and it’s what it’s supposed to be. The problem is we’ve never seen the inside of a hive before.
• Do I nail all those little nails in myself or should I use the nail gun? Curse words begin to fly. Decide to use the nail gun.

I’m starting to think that a top bar hive might be less expensive, less labor intensive and easier to take care of. Maybe I should do both kinds of hives so I can compare. I wonder if it’s to late to add to my bee order?

Here’s a list of the supplies I’ve gotten so far:

1 – Queen excluder wood bound 10 frame

2 – 1 lb. Thin surplus 4 3/8″ X 16 1/2″
3 – Frames 6 1/4 WTB GBB C/10
2 – Frames 9 1/8 WTB GBB C/10
2 – 10 SH. WIRED 8 1/2\” X 16 3/4
6 – frame spacers
1 – cotton/poly zipper veil hooded suit
1 – Hive Top Feeder
1 – leather vent gloves
1 – Smoker 4 x 7 with Shield Stainless Steel
1 – Wood Entrance Reducer
1 – Bee Brush

Total so far is a little over $200.

Oops! Forgot to order the hive tool. Oh well, I’ll get it when I order the equipment for the honey extraction, later — much later. Had to hold my breath when I placed this order.

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