As the Hive Turns

Last month I realized my hive Saturn was facing a bit northerly. Our winter winds can be rather blustery, and I was worried about the cold blowing into the front of the hive. I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it, until someone suggested on beesource.com that I turn the hive around. So I did.

161029-saturn-nw

My hive Saturn on October 29, facing mainly northwest. Our winter winds would blow right into the entrance. © Erik Brown

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Beehive House

160118a New HivesAn update on my recent activities, from my trip to Ithaca, New York through our current snow storm.  The trip to my parent’s was a great success. My lovely wife and daughter stayed behind so it was just me and the ‘rents – it’s been awhile since that has happened! Building the top bar hives was a bit of a challenge, so I really appreciated having dear old dad to assist. We built two hives based on the plans from my prior post, and had a nice time in and around Ithaca. We even visited local beekeeper Duane Waid and toured his honey processing facility. More on that another time, perhaps.

This week we prepared for the big snow storm currently hitting our area, so I have a short update on this as well. Continue reading

A hive of activity

Woodworking

My dear father with his booth at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market in Ithaca, New York

As I mentioned in my last post, one of my near-term goals is to build a new top bar hive. The plan is to travel to my parent’s house this weekend, where my dear father has agreed to help me build the new hive. He has become quite the woodworker in his retirement, building and selling custom furniture throughout the year.

Based on my first year of use, my existing top bar hive Venus has a few drawbacks. In this post I’ll lay out my views on the current hive and how I hope to address these in a new hive. Unless something goes wrong, my next post will present the finished product. Continue reading

How doth the little busy bee

TBH Comb

A top bar hive comb near the three entrances to the hive.

With the blooming season moving into summer, our top bar hive continues to crank out bees. Italian bees are known for going full steam ahead, and ours seems to be no different. I checked the hive on June 25 and so thought I would share this update.

Before covering our top bar hive, I’ll begin with some changes to our two langs, and finish with some pictures of wild bees around our yard. Continue reading

It’s the Bees Time of the Year

The hive we've named "Jupiter" built a small tunnel at the top of their box.

The hive we’ve named “Jupiter” built a small tunnel at the top of their box.

My car windshield is covered in pollen each morning, so I think the bees must be happy. They’ve been building up their hives, and I watch the workers fly in and out of their entrance at a steady pace most days. I have been inspecting them each weekend, so here is a brief update. Continue reading