Friday, April 23, 2010

Top Bars and Followers

Assembled three follower boards and 23 top bars for the KTBH today.  14 of the top bars are solid, based on Lyonville Fletcher's blog.  The remaining 9 are square bars with the chamfers from cutting the solid bars as comb guide.  Need another  2x4 to finish up making the approximately 32 top bars one would need to completely fill a 48" KTBH.  Gotta love a table saw.  Should be able to knock together the hive body tomorrow and I may even get to the legs.

Lots of anecdotal posts on the bee forums about packages absconding .  I think I may make the extra follower board into a queen "includer" since I have a couple of plastic queen excluders.  I will just cut a hole in the follower board and fasten the excluder over it.

 Solid Top Bar

Chamfer Top Bar

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Oscar is stacked

20:1 linseed oil and beeswax on all the remaining woodenware. Oscar hive is stacked with space for brood, reserves and feeder. I will take him down to the medium + deep when the bees arrive.

Serious Eats Save The Honeybees Video

Friday, April 9, 2010


The bare spots around the beds have been seeded with Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum).  Less than a week since seeding and there is substantial growth.  80 degree days in April.  Go figure.

Yellow and white clover remain to be planted in the side and back yards.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Planting

The yard has been a mess since I moved in a mere 4 years ago.  It's New England, so I will still be new to the neighborhood until I have been here for 30 years.  I haven't made much effort besides growing grass (there was none when I bought the place) and moving leaves back from what used to be the yard when the house was built.

 My children consumed by the annual massive leaf fall last year.

Starting up bees has inspired me to clean up the unused, non-yard bits and plant bee friendly plants.

White Dead Nettle (Lamium Album)

Provence Lavender(Lavendula Intermedia)



Sunflowers, giant and not so giant in the raised bed

Heather and Heath

Seed beds containing Creeping Thyme, Catnip, and Echinacea

Also in containers on the porch are Cobweb Thistle (Cirsium), Calendula, Western Columbine (Aquilegia Formosa), Dune Aster, and some Rosemary.  I have more seeds that will go out later as the summer progresses.  

I put out 2 different types of flowering cherry trees and have some cherry bushes on order.  There are a couple of Black Pussy Willows freshly planted.  Needing to be rooted is a whole bunch of pussy willow branches that are sitting in a bucket of water.  

Most of the tilled soil visible around the garden boxes has been sown with Crimson Clover.  I will till up some more of the yard and seed it with Sweet Yellow and White Dutch clover in the next couple of weeks.

Speaking of summer, it was in the 80s (F) today.  Thought it was July there for a second.  It will probably snow before the month is out.

With another couple of weeks until the first package of bees arrive I will have to be content watching the local bees.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Bee of the Year

Just not the right kind :)

Bought some heather from Lowe's yesterday and the bumble was very interested. Stapling together foundationless frames for the Langstroth hive that is not the Perone style one.