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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Building Beehives

Our farm addition for 2012 is bees. The Boy has been learning a lot about beekeeping from reading, making local beekeeping friends, and attending monthly meetings for the community beekeeper's association and Friday, our new hives arrived.

A local beekeeper recommended ordering supplies from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, which coincidentally is the same company we've noticed that a lot of the bloggers we follow use (such as GardenFork.TV). We also really liked the fact that it is a North Carolina based company, and even though it's half across the state from us, it's about as local as we can get for the supplies we need.

What we ordered:

(hey, its "the boy" and I've been told to finish this post)

I decided to start this new venture with two hives for the first year. I had been advised that having two is very useful for a new beekeeper because it allows you to compare the two and catch any problems your hives might be having.

I found a starter kit from Brushy that came with one assembled hive plus extras: a smoker, a brush, a hive tool, a book, a dvd, gloves and a veil. I also purchased am additional unassembled hive, extra supers and frames, a second veil (so the girl can help out without getting stung). Then there was foundation and wire for the frames, plus a crimping tool and an embedder.

As luck would have it, the three giant boxes arrived on the Friday before a very rainy weekend. Assembling the supers and frames made for an excellent rainy day activity and since everything was new (and not dirtied up yet) I was allowed to do it in the living room. And hammering on things in the living room is fun.

At this point everything is ready  to go except for a little paint on the outside of the hives and putting the foundation into the frames (this should not be done until just a few day before you are ready to put them into use).

For the next update we will look at the location and design of the bee yard. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

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