Friday, May 20, 2011

Bee Hive Setup

This week I got my bee hives setup and ready.  I'm glad I took the advice of everyone in the club and got things ready before the bees come, since it took a little longer than I anticipated.

Sydney, a friend from my church, volunteered to house the bees on his property where he keeps his horses since the Good Wife did not want them at our house.  I am hoping that I can change her mind as I grow my apiary in the future, but since she is allergic to bees, I can understand her hesitation.  Although, after my hands-on experience, I don't think she has much to worry about.  Most people get stung by the nasty wasps and hornets out there, not honey bees.  Sydney has 10 acres and uses about four for his horses, and grows hay on the other six.  My hives are near the road on the opposite end of the property from the horses, so that shouldn't be any conflict.

I setup my hives using a couple cinder blocks and some 4"x4" boards.  I dug down into the ground a bit to give them a slight lean forward, so when it rains, the rain will stay out of the hive, instead of going in.  I also put another 4"x4" under the hives in the middle and added an eye bolt on either side of the hives, so I can strap them down with bungee cords or tie-downs, to keep the lids on when we get some good winds.

Sydney checking out the hive positioning.

Overall it looks like a good setup.  I am using a regular screened bottom board on the hive to the left in the picture above, and an "Ultimate Bottom Board" on the right hive.  I am trying both out to see which I like.  For setup, I like the regular bottom board, because I don't have to worry about the feet being right on the boards, which reminds me, I need to put a strip of wood on the front 4"x4" so it keeps the hive from sliding forward and the feet falling off.

The bees will be right next to about 26 acres of hay fields with a stream on the other side of the property.  They should be able to find that water and be good to go.

I'm anxious, but not too nervous any more.  I hope the bees like their new homes and enjoy the view.  I know I do.

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