Thursday, July 21, 2011
I had to move my last tbh into a warre today so I got up before the sun and finished before eight am, even small colonies do not like being woken before the sun rises, they get cranky and take it out on the cause of their vexation.
This weather does give me the opportunity to do a simple photo experiment on warre hive bearding. I will post the results in a few weeks.
I am currently working on a lift / dolly, I got the idea from a german site that sells these things professionally built. Its a very simple device that looks like a dolly with a block and tackle, a sled on rails and a single wheel for load stability. Its powered by a cordless drill so one can raise and lower the sled without letting go of the handles, leave it to the Germans. :) I think every beekeeper needs one of these lift devices even if you only have three hives. Why lift dead weight that most unions would consider much too heavy for a safe working environment.
Bee careful and work safe!
Saturday, July 16, 2011
The picture above is of "Hive Number One's" queen, she is laying and still acting the part even though I chased her all over Ronnas log house. She isn't marked and is producing mixed offspring so even if she isn't ferrel she probably isn't from a breeder I love her colors though such a nice shade of amber.
One Italian queen hive moved with the "quilt" propped back to allow the bees to find their new home. I put all the brood and comb in the top box so it was easier for them to fan at this location, once they had settled down I closed up the top leaving the bottom entrance open of course.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
You can read more from Ronna's side of the story from her blog
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
When I started building warre hives I didn't want to cut frame shoulders so I use set screws, an unintended side effect of this is the frames get less glued together since the screws are the only parts of the frame that touch. With my new frames I started pre-drilling the set screw holes in each frame to give a uniform placement, in the above picture you can see all the screws are placed in the same position. I place the set screws in the side of each top bar at the ends where the "bee-space" between the frame and the hive body wall are. This prevents the problem of screws gouging comb when removing frames, it also allows the bees to crawl under the screw into the rabbet between frames, so nothing can hide there eg, wax moth or hive beetle. The picture above is with the new set-screw placement and the one bellow is with the old placement.
Hopefully all this doesn't sound like bragging, I am just pleased that this system is working so well, I love innovative simple ideas especially if they mimic nature at her finest!
Shown right is the old brood box getting filled with honey, notice the comb is closer together then brood comb, this is very similar to what you would see in a feral hive. There is hope for a honey harvest this year!