Sunday, 14 March 2010

Bait Hive

The next step is to double my chances of catching a swarm, with a bait hive. It's built to the same design and dimensions as the main hive (Phil Chandler's design), but half the length, that's 18 inch sides instead of the 36 inch of the main hive. The roof is a single slope on this one, too.

The Bait Hive

 This will have no legs, but will be placed a couple of metres above ground which is where the bees apparently (hopefully!) prefer their nest.

Just need to weather proof them both and I'm ready for bees!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Wax Guide for the Top Bars

As previously described, I have now filled the Top Bar grooves with bees wax. The smell of honey as the wax was melting made the whole process worth while. I used a small pyrex (glass) beaker (an advantage of living with a science teacher) to hold the wax and placed it into a pan of boiling water to make sure that the wax didn't get too hot.

Melting the wax

Pouring the wax was a challenge. Not, as I expected, getting the wax into the groove, but just pouring it! Pyrex does not conduct heat very well, so despite containing molten wax, I could pick it up without any gloves or other protection. However, as the wax reached to cooler parts of the beaker, it set very quickly. As a result I was constantly returning it to the pan, scraping off the set wax and waiting for it to melt again. I must get a stainless steel jug for the next time!

Completed Top Bars
But what a delightful result! The colour of the wax against the wood combined with the aroma of honey and wax made it all worthwhile!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Roof

The roof needs to slope to cope with the British weather (rain!). I've decided to go with a ridge roof so that the water is not all shed on one side.

 

Complete!

Fortunately, I inherited a lot of strips of galvanized steel in the green house when I bought the house! One has been used to weather-proof the gap in the marine ply roof.

 

Just need to melt the wax into the top-bars, then coat the exterior with bee wax and linseed oil, then get some bees!