Saturday, March 30, 2013

Setting up the Hives

 
     So how do you set up bee hives?  I really don't know.  I've done a little reading on the internet and had a little advice from some people who know a lot more about it than I do.  I've bought the equipment. The boys and I went and picked that up a month or so ago on a nice snowy day.

  It looked a little scarey and overwhelming sitting in the bed of my truck.  But I got it home and set it up temporarily in the basement of my office until I had a more permanent location for it.  Once I had it set up in the basement, it looked pretty cool to me, but then I'm a 42 year old nerdy guy with 5 kids, so "cool" is a pretty relative term.

     Anyway, everything has been here and and waiting for the bees to arrive.  I figured I couldn't keep them in the basement for ever and would have to find a good place to set them up outside, once the snow finally cleared away.  Since the bees are supposed to arrive sometime in the next 7-14 days, I figured I better get to work on it this weekend.  So that's what we did.


   I almost wish the hives could remain clean and new, but of course I would rather they be buzzing and filling up with bees and honey.  If you've never looked into a bee hive, it's basically a wooden box filled with hanging frames.  The bees crawl all over the frames, laying down wax and building up comb,  some of the comb is used for egg laying and raising up baby bees and the rest is used for storage.  Mostly to store that yummy golden honey. One of the things that I've read and been told, is that you need to keep the hives off the ground a little so that other things like ants, mice, and other various critters can't get in and eat up all the honey.  So I wanted to build a stand for the hives.  This is what I came up with.  I pretty much stole the basic concept off of other bee keeper's blogs because I did a Google search to see what other people used.



     It is made from treated lumber.  I used 2x6's to make a 8'x18" top supported by 18 inch legs cut from 4x4's.  The legs are bolted on with lag screws and the rest is held together with decking screws.  I think it should hold up fairly well.  I plan on painting it later after the wood has died out some.  To make it more stable I buried some cinder block to make a level, solid base to set on.




     After it was in the ground and leveled out, then all we had to do was stack up the hive supers and sit back and enjoy the warm weather while we wait for the bees to come in.  That's when the real fun begins.

On the way home, Caleb informed me that he wants to get one of those Squares to attach to the iPhone so he can start taking credit card orders for his honey.  He certainly doesn't lack any confidence.  Hey, if he likes this and can make it profitable, more power to him.  We are going to have to find some way to pay for college.  I'm afraid it's going to take a few more hives for that...