Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The beeginning…

Being a bit of a nature lover and working outside I noticed for the last couple of years that something was missing. Honey bees. I remember as a kid seeing them everywhere, even getting stung when one was unlucky enough to be in my path as I explored the country side. I’m self employed as a home and property services contractor and last year I decided to make an effort to make note of where I did and didn’t see honey bees. After the season was over the findings were pretty grim. Of all the properties/clients I serviced only one place had visible honey bees. This concerned me and fueled a desire to change that, at least locally. In December I decided I’d like to start keeping honey bees as a hobby and maybe bring them back to the area on a small scale. I realized something though… I don’t know anything about honey bees except that they sting, live in hives, and make delicious honey. Being the sponge that I am for new information I decided to educate myself as best I could. I started by spending hours and hours online every evening reading everything I could find about honey bees as well as picking up a few books. I found out there’s a lot more to it than a hive and the bees. Determined, I stepped forward at the beginning of March 2011. After ordering a package of bees and finding a local beekeeper supplier I picked out the kit I wanted and was off to pick it up.

After meeting with Jerry at Va Bee Supply I got home and got the goods unloaded.

I’ll admit I was like a kid in a candy store putting this stuff together. I’ve always liked working with wood and wood crafting and getting these hives ready for the bees has been great fun.

2 bodies and 20 frames down, 2 bodies and 20 frames to go.

After getting the hive together I decided I’d like to stain it instead of painting. I didn’t take anymore photos of the rest of the assembly but here’s the finished product.

I learned something about this hobby and I haven’t even gotten bees yet. It might be a bit addictive. After assembling and staining the first hive I was able to fight the anticipation for about a week. It was too strong however and I was back to Va Bee Supply for another hive kit. Through reading and talking with beekeepers I heard many times the best way to start the hobby is with two hives. The reason being you’ll be able to compare the 2 if one is having problems.

So another kit, more assembly and another hive. I’ve applied 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of latex. Tomorrow I will finish up the last 2 coats of latex on the underside. I think I like the stain look better, but the paint sure does go on lots faster!

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