Thursday, June 17, 2010

We solved the "what to do with the swarm" problem!

David and I built our own top bar hive on Sunday.  We based our hive on the plans that Philip Chandler has posted on his site

With a little sawing, and drilling we have a very nice bee hive in about four hours!

I had a lesson in proper skill saw usage.

This is the basic shape of the hive.

The legs are easier to attach if the hive body is turned upside down.

This is the hive now standing on all four legs, with follower boards and top bars temporarily in place so we could fit what will become the base of the roof.

Seen from a different angle.

The inside of the roof showing the lath and the cedar shingles.  It's not too heavy.

I melted some bees wax and used it as glue to stick on pieces of comb taken from the inside of the lid of the waxed cardboard nuc, the swarm's temporary home.

I shouldn't have taken that comb away from the bees in the first place so this is my way of trying to make it up to them.  I hope that using their own comb will make the hive smell like a proper home.

We used stock 1x2s for the bars.  They might be a bit too wide.  We shall see.

David with the finished hive!

You can see the three holes I drilled for the main entrance.  They can be stopped up with wine corks as needed.  On the other side are two more openings, one on each end.  It is possible to have more than one colony in the same hive and they need separate entrances.

The hive placed in the garden.  The entrance faces north but the hive still receives quite a bit of sun throughout the day.

Installing the bees was another beginner's disaster - more on that later.

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