The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Sweetening the pot for a package of bees


I put off deciding whether to buy another package of bees until April, which means that our bees only went in the mail Friday.  With such a late start ahead of them, I figured it wouldn't hurt to prime the pump by giving the new hive a box of nearly-drawn comb, partially filled with pollen and nectar. 

Dismantling a Warre hive

Looking up into a hive bodyIt was time to nadir the old hive anyway, so I killed two birds with one stone, lifting the top two boxes from that hive to the side, replacing the bottom box with two empty boxes, then adding the full boxes of brood back on top.  In a perfect world, I would have left the quilt and roof on during this procedure, but I was working by myself and figured that I could cut corners (and weight) by removing those two components.  I left the sheet of burlap on the top box, though, so I don't think the procedure messed with the Nestduftwarmebindung of the hive too much.  Weight of the two boxes of brood was just shy of too heavy for me (maybe forty pounds? or perhaps thirty since the bulkiness was the real hindrance?).

Top bar comb

HoneybeeOver at the new hive spot, I got to scratch my bee-photographing itch.  That's one of the major downsides of the Warre hive --- you're not supposed to mess with individual frames, so you rarely get to see your bees in action.  Isn't that beautiful, straight comb drawn without foundation?

Fanning bees

I didn't bother brushing off the workers and drones who came along for the ride in the relocated box, but I figure they'll go home tonight.  Then I'll plug up the door so they don't come back tomorrow and rob all that nectar right back to their old hive.

Our chicken waterer protects chickens from heat exhaustion by prompting them to drink plenty of clean water.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Those are some great pictures of your bees! I like how the last one shows the full range of motion for the wings on the bee facing almost directly away. Looks like about 120° :-)
Comment by Jake Mon Jun 3 00:02:32 2013
Hey sweetie, I love these pictures!
Comment by Heather Mon Jun 3 21:26:07 2013

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