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

Warre hive box filled in two weeks

Foundationless frame

Less than two weeks after the bees moved down into their third box, it's time to nadir again!  I suspect the fast progress is a result of the sourwood nectar flow.

Hundreds of beesI've actually been trying to snap a shot inside the hive for several days now, with no luck.  There are so many bees working in there that morning is no longer a good time to monitor hive activity --- the bees tend to be hanging out on the comb and floor waiting to go out, which obstructs the camera's view of the hive infrastructure.  This less than informative shot is from four days ago.

I finally got the bright idea to wait until the heat of the afternoon, when most workers are Through the cracks in a bee hivebusy outside the hive.  My new strategy allowed me to see that the third box is fully drawn except for three frames.  You can even see capped honey in the upper right hand corner of the first photo in this post!  When I zoomed in, I could also look up through the crack into the hive box above and tell that there's capped brood there.

Bees inside hive

I suspect I'm going to have to enlist the help of two strong men to nadir this time.  Mark and I had no problem lifting two Warre hive bodies between us a few weeks ago, but at that time, the top box was empty and the second box was only full of brood.  This week, I think weight is going to be more of an issue.

Luckily, our amazing helper Bradley has beekeeping experience along with his many, many other talents.  Hopefully when I ask him to help with nadiring, his response will be the same as always: "That's no problem."  He's already promised to build us some more boxes for a fraction of the cost of the online offerings.

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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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I think to save everyones backs you need to start thinking about building a hive lifter. If you do a google search for "Warre hive lifter" you can find photos of what they look like, and they are pretty easy to make. Another cool mod you can do is build an observation window into your hive bodies, then start cycling them in when you nadir. Makes checking the status of each body a breeze. Love the blog!

Comment by Kai Schumann Mon Jul 2 10:50:23 2012

Kai --- We're definitely going to make one of those hive lifters. We didn't at first because we're just experimenting with the hive type, but both Mark and I are very happy with Warre hives so far and are currently thinking we'll stay on that track for the foreseeable future.

I considered observation windows, but decided against it based on forums where folks said you can't see in well after a while and the windows tend to mess with the heat retention of that area. After installing the windowless hive, though, I wished I'd put one in. :-) I guess I'll keep pondering the window issue....

Comment by anna Mon Jul 2 14:44:36 2012

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