Thursday, February 4, 2016
Another Hive Move
This morning dawned bright, clear and cold. The thermometer read about 21 degrees and the rain that had been predicted for us on Tuesday never really made an appearance so the ground was not only frozen but mostly dry as well. More importantly I didn't have to work today either.
The perfect morning for moving a bee hive.
The only dowside being that the sun was out in full force and no wind to speak of at all for a change which means it won't be long until the bees will be out.
We had about an one hour window with perfect hive moving conditions and we jumped on it this morning. We started just as it got light enough outside to see clearly.
First task besides taping over the entrance holes was getting the bee hive all strapped up in the carrier.
This is a picture from the hive we moved a little over a year ago. It was still too dark to take a good one this morning. You can see how the home made mover system comes together and why I use the type of hive stands I use in this picture. The board under the bottom slides through the sides with the handles and the entire thing is then tightened down with ratchet straps.
Incidentally I think ratchet straps are also one of those things invented by the devil for torture that also is useful and needed in real life. I hate adjusting ratchet straps but they do a good job of holding things tight once ya get em all set up right.
It's then just a matter of one person in back and one in front loading the hive into the truck and securing it down for the move.
This hive was being moved about three or so miles away to the garden apiary. It's a lovely spot nestled behind a small peach orchard with a nice old stand of hardwoods behind it to the North, several small ponds within easy flight distance and a cow pasture on two sides. A pretty good sized subdivision nearby and several large fields that are mowed all Summer but not sprayed for plenty of Dutch clover forage as well.
I typically don't put smaller hives this close to well established hives, especially in spots I cannot check daily because of the opportunities for robbing it creates. If robbing gets started and I am not around to deal with it I will end up losing the smaller hives. That's why I like to keep new hives close to the house and move them out to their permanent locations during their first Winter.
Hopefully we will have at least one more good bee hive moving morning before it really starts to warm up in March or so. As you can see I have room for three more hives in this location before needing another stand set up but I doubt I will get it filled this year. I will sometimes place a newly captured swarm in an out lying yard if it is big enough to protect itself though so perhaps this apiary yard will be filled by mid-Summer.
As I said it's a very pretty spot and should be the perfect bee forage area with plenty of water for the hot periods and lots of diverse season long nectar sources to choose from. The two older hives that have been down there about a year now started producing late last Summer so I am hoping for some good honey production from them this year.
As soon as I get this tractor project out of the way it will be time to start building new hives for this years expansion goals. Seven more hives to go to get to my goal of 25 hives provided I don't lose any this Winter. March is just around the corner now and that's the big danger period for losing hives around here.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!