Rialian's Realm

Thoughts and Considerations

Bees and plans…

by rialian - January 20th, 2011.
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===Well, we did a slight bit better this year in terms of bees….I do get to harvest a fair bit of honey (I am guessing about 20-30 pounds).  Sadly, the bees in that hive all passed on.

===It looks like the really serious cold got them.  There was a tight cluster around the queen, and plenty of sealed comb above them.  (for those that are not quite familiar with bee dynamics, bees cluster in a ball around the queen and pretty much keep the cluster warm by shivering, to put in non-technical terms.In a Langstroth hive, the bees travel upwards in the hive over the winter months, and pretty much ignore anything even a frame or two over from them.  This cluster had plenty of food above them.

===So, back to the drawing board with the bees.  I am looking at retiring the old langs that my father gave me (they were old when he got them, and we brought them back up to reasonable snuff…but I thing new equipment and design is in order.  I am thinking of going back to a variant of the Top-Bar Hive, one that would allow for easy supering.  Also, I am thinking that it has to be thicker wood than usual.  What I might do is take some inspiration from the Lithuanian beekeepers, and have a semi bee-shed, where the hive resides.  I think thicker wood for the hive-body, and an outer case that would add air-space insulation to moderate temperature effects.

===The “bee-house stands”, as I am seeing them in my head, will have built-in legs bolted on….probably the width of garden timbers….hrm….

===Anyway, already looking to order my packages of bees, and make myself popular with the local post office this spring.

===Oh, one of my favorite sites (and one of the inspirations for what I am plotting in terms of hive design) Bee Natural

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