Two hives completed, thanks to Mike who spent a couple of days assembling all the bits into frames etc. They are ready to be put in place but we need to move a couple of slabs to go underneath them, having made sure they are perfectly level. Bees don't like living on a slope or at least they make lopsided honey if they do!
On Sunday, last day of February, we decided to open the boxes, these are just some of the contents, what a lot of kindling! With the help of Google, a beekeeping friend, Hayes manual and the instructions it is beginning to make sense. I hope it will to the bees.
I have been thinking of keeping bees for a long time, but just didn't get around to it, partly because I know nothing about it, except I love bees, but also the expense. Its not a cheap interest! However during the last hot gorgeous summer with bees a-buzzing around the garden and the media coverage about the decline of honey bees I decided that I would take the plunge. My brother-in-law, an apiarist of over thirty years experience encouraged me. I was going to order my hive over the winter, something to think about during lockdown 2! However he generously -presented me with ,a wbc hive on my birthday, what excitement now I really had a start! The hive is just a shell, so far.
Over the next few months I read some books and articles, including Hayes Beekeeping Manual, yes really! Also a wonderful little book written in 1940, 'Honey from your Garden' by Walter Brett. This was written to encourage beekeeping in the war to help off set the problem of sugar shortage. The former book has lovely clear descriptions, photographs and diagrams, it is quite technical and can be a bit daunting, the latter no such frills. However the old book is so enthusiastic, easy to read and understand; clearly wanting everyone to keep a few bees in the general war effort. Worked for me anyway, it feels pretty much like a war at the moment!
To date I have just taken delivery of all the innards of my hive in a giant box. This is currently in our shed waiting for a warmer day or two before unwrapping all the little bits of wood and figuring out how to make them into frames, supers and all the other components. I have just ordered my second flat pack hive and THE BEES! The latter will arrive in May/June, plenty of time for more reading and who knows I might even be able to visit the local bee keepers association apiary before then, restrictions permitting.
I have loved the idea of keeping bees for many years, but for various reasons have never got around to it. However my brother-in-law who is a very experienced apiarist of over thirty years, has persuaded me to take the plunge into this fascinating and rewarding enterprise.
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