Home is where the hive is
I’ve spent several weekend afternoons in the last month or so prepping for the arrival of the ladies. I ordered 2 8-frame “garden hives” from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, along with all the anticipated extras: medium hive bodies, frames, foundation, hive top feeders, screened bottom boards, bee brush, and an extra bee veil for Rob. I already have a smokin’ hot smoker and my own bee veil thanks to a Christmas present from my sis!
One of the first things I had to do was paint or stain the exterior of the hive bodies. The wood grain of the cypress hive bodies was so beautiful, I thought it would be a shame to paint over it. So I decided to stain; it seemed fitting that I chose a stain called “honey gold”!
Some of the frames I bought (accidentally), came un assembled, so I spent the better part of an afternoon gluing and nailing all 36 of them together:
Here’s a nice pictorial showing step-by-step, how frames are assembled.
Once the frames were finished, the next step involved inserting the sheets of wax “foundation” into each frame. The sheets of foundation are pre-embossed with a honey comb pattern that acts as a template for the bees to build their own wax comb from. Some people prefer to go “foundation-less” and let the the bees do their own thing, but as a beginning beekeeper, foundation is the route I’ll take as it promotes more uniform parallel comb building within the hive.
Did I mention that the beeswax foundation smells amazing!?!
The final thing I needed to do is further secure the foundation into the frame, to prevent warping. Commonly, people use thin wire to add horizontal support. I read of a technique using fishing line which seemed easier to me. Thanks to The FatBeeMan and this great YouTube video for the idea! Here’s a few close-ups of my work:
Until next time, bee good!