Thursday, April 14, 2011

Countdown to new bees... 2 Days To Go.

Dan dumping gravel in the new bee yard.
I'm adding two new hives this year, my packages of bees will be here on Saturday.  So I've been busting my butt to get everything ready.  I'm sure most beekeepers are doing the same thing right about now.

I learned my lesson when I placed my first hive... choose the location carefully.  My first hive location was awesome in May, but in the winter time, there was standing water all around it.  I ended up moving those hives about 20 yards to higher ground.

So for my two new hives, I wanted to do it right the first time.  I chose a south facing location and got permission from the boss, then trucked in 2.5 tons of crushed gravel for drainage and to make everything flat.   I'm curious to see how this location does in reference to my other location.  This one will get a bit more morning sun, and the other hives will get more late afternoon sun.  I don't know if that will do anything in terms of health and honey production, but it will be interesting to compare.

I know I'm not the typical beekeeper in this regard.  Most people just put a pallet or a few cinder blocks on the ground and place their hives on it.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing it that way.  But I'm going to go by this spot just about every day, and we've got a lot of critters running around out here, so I wanted it to be secure and look presentable.

Last year I had a hive knocked over by something.  Might have been a skunk or maybe a bear cub.  It was not fun putting that hive back together in the dark.  I had some fence installed around my other two hives, and decided to fence in this area too.  I put down some landscape fabric so I don't have to deal with a bunch of grass growing up right in front of the hive.  Again, I realize it's overkill, but that's kind of how I'm wired.

I'm really happy with how it all worked out.  I'm calling it the "Jimi" yard.  I decided to decorate the hives with a Hendrix stencil that I made with my new Silhouette SD (I'll put a video up soon of that machine... it's really cool.)

So I just need to put a deep box on the other stand tomorrow and I'll be ready to install the girls on Saturday.

See you next time.