Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Still Building Bee Hives
Still hammering away at getting the 10 new hives ready for this year's (Hopeful) growth. Another few weeks and it will be time to put the swarm traps out and once I am able to plant and the mowing starts I won't have the time to put these hive bottoms and tops together. Banging together some pre-cut brood chambers and supers doesn't take much time but bottoms especially do.
It was tough though because I really wanted to be out brush hogging the pasture to try and get some good grass growth going (The four G's Heh). I know it is more than likely a wasted effort as long as those useless animals of pasture destruction, otherwise known as horses are still out there but I got to try.
Anyway bee hives are a bit higher priority right now.
The Mark IV MoBottom Board is almost complete. I am using a router now instead of adding in shelf runners and learning to use the thing is a bit harder than I first thought. Mostly it's getting the guides set but one board I was working on today I guess the bit was loose because it moved out and cut much deeper than I wanted it too.
If I can get two more bottoms and three more tops finished by Thursday I should be good as that will leave me 10 full hives in reserve. Then about Mid-Summer I will need to bang together some more brood chambers to add to them. All of this is provided I catch enough swarms to fill them of course. Last year ended up being a pretty good swarm year but after this cold Winter who knows what this year will bring. I would also like to get one more swarm trap built and another fencepost stand to open up a new trap area with.
I am shooting for 20 hives by the end of the Summer which will put me back on track after the losses I suffered from the 2012 drought. I should also have three more hives coming on line into second year honey production this Summer. So far it has been my experience that a hive has to be about two years old to really get in the groove of honey. Take any before that and you are usually hurting their build up a bit. I am sure there are exceptions, and I have seen a few but as a general rule it works around here.
Also I learned to always take my glue into the main house with me now. I imagine it was the days of sub-zero temps that did it in but I am not taking any chances now. I tried warming the old glue up but all it did was further condense it down into a big glob so I just threw it away. Live and Learn.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!