August 16th, 2011

We pulled a frame of honey from one our hives recently to make sure we got at least one taste of honey this year. Here I am scooping off the second scoop of honey from the frame:

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August 14th, 2011

We moved Hive #1 to its final location today. Here’s a photo of all our hives in a row shortly after the move.

We did a full inspection of the hive too. Most of the top box was full of honey with a few frames of brood in the middle. We pulled one frame of honey and replaced it with a frame of foundation. The bees will draw out the comb on the foundation and use it either for brood or honey, whichever they need most, I suppose. The bottom box was full of brood frames at various stages, and it’s all looking good. We pulled the last foundationless frame (with drone comb on it, of course) up into the top box so we can conveniently migrate it to the designated foundationless hive, Hive #1, as soon as we have a chance. We’ll probably extract the honey from the pulled frame, because, well, it’s likely to be the only honey we get this year, so we’re going for it, honey super be damned. I’ll post a video soon that shows exactly what’s involved in moving a hive. It’s a wacky bunch of fun. You’ll love it.

August 14th, 2011

We took a peek at the honey supers on our two full hives a few days ago. The bees in Hive #2, the mostly foundationless hive, have shown no interest in their honey super. My guess is they’re still backfilling all the foundationless drone comb instead. My prediction: Hive #2 will be a complete write-off for honey this year. The honey super on Hive #1 is looking better, though it still has a way to go. Most of the frames have only partial comb drawn on them. Here’s the left side of one of the foundationless frames in the honey super:

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August 12th, 2011


I made this bottom board from scrap wood I found in my shed today:

I cut the thick plywood 16.5 inches wide (about 42cm) and 2 feet long (70cm). The brace wood, if you want to call it that, was the same dimensions as a super, 20 inches by about 15 inches, something like that. The hive entrance (once a hive is placed on top) is about 1 and a quarter inches high, which is fine. It’s not pretty but the bees don’t care about pretty. I think it’ll work. I’ll post a photo of it in a day or two when I put a hive on top of it. I should have been making these all along. It’s way cheaper than ordering them from a supplier and having them shipped here. If you had to pay for the raw material, though, I’m guessing it would be less than $5.

UPDATE (Feb. 09/13): This bottom board has worked out fine. It’s ugly and half rotted now, but the bees don’t seem to care. Today I would use thick plywood instead of chipboard, and I’d paint it, but there’s nothing wrong with getting by with one made from cheap scrap wood.

August 11th, 2011

The original content of the post has been moved to the How-To page.

August 10th, 2011

I know this bee like the back of my hand.

Other photos I’ve recently uploaded but won’t bother posting: Bees drinking up vomited pollen; fresh natural comb from the honey super on Hive #1 — wide shot and close up; honey bees festooning on fresh natural honey comb from Hive #1; honey bee loaded with pollen on Hive #2 — front view and back view; grainy shot of a bee coming in for a landing; and another bee from Hive #2 resting with pollen.


I made some improvements to the design of my ventilator rim (a.k.a. a ventilation eke). It’s still cheap and easy to make and should do a fine job at improving the ventilation of any Langstroth hive. First, I cut four pieces of wood for the front, back and sides of the rim. Here’s a shot of the side pieces:

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August 5th, 2011

Here’s the HAL-9000 view of our “bee yard” (a.k.a. our “backyard”).

Our two latest nucs are on the far right. It’s a tight squeeze.

See comments for information on ventilation rims.

August 3rd, 2011


Well, not really making a ventilator rim. I already made it and it looks like this:

Like the name implies, it provides ventilation for the hive. And as far as I know, it’s good to have on the hive any time of the year, though for the winter we might stick with our insulated inner hive covers. They worked out well for us this past winter.
Read on . . . »

August 3rd, 2011

I saved a bee from drowning yesterday.


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