Sunday 8 April 2012

Lots of hive making activity

As a direct result of the meeting on Thursday Monique and Mike, from Weston-on-Trent, called around to see exactly what a TBH looked like prior to buying some wood. This is excellent news as they only live a few miles away and are very keen to get some bees this season. Also, Mary & Pete Tong (not the famous DJ) who responded to my advert for the meeting at work have also bought a hive. It really is great that so much enthusiasm has been generated in such a short space of time; but the main problem will be acquiring the actual bees. There are, as far as I can make out, now four top bar hives locally waiting for bees . So this must now become our challenge for the next few months - to try and catch some swarms! Much easier said than done given the current lack of feral bees and the swarm suppression techniques regularly carried out by most 'traditional beekeepers'. So in order to get the ball rolling I have:

  • started to waterproof some large, stout, 40lt.-ish cardboard boxes (I have several more at work) which I will endeavour to find suitable locations for - my neighbours small orchard, a request from a work colleague who has a large garden etc.
  • converted two ornamental compost bins, that ironically were based on archetypal beehives, into two large swarm boxes - they might be a bit impractical and will need top bars fitting in some way in order to transfer bees (but I'm sure my new table saw will come in handy for that!)
  • picked up a skep 'kit' from Martin Buckle* in order to give it a try - he will post for £5 but I'm too eager. Will use the resulting, free form**, hive-shaped thing either as a swarm carrying basket or as a bait hive (there could be problems if the bees start to build their own comb but lets cross that bridge......)
  • did I mention I've bought a table saw? There are just so many things that I can now make; not only for myself but other members of the group
So there you have it, a bit frantic bee wise, yet still I had time to sit and watch my hive going about its business.

Happy Days!!!!!!  

Martin Buckles web site   

** Me 'free forming' a sort of skep/Easter bonnet type affair.......

1 comment:

  1. I was very enthused by the thoughts of encouraging bees into the garden using a more natural approach. I'd already looked at the standard approach using National type hives but wasn't particularly interested in generating large quantities of honey. Boyd invited me to see in action his simpler and more bee friendly type of hive, this made me want to get started right away. Luckily I found a top bar hive on eBay very quickly - it saved me trying to construct one (carpentry skills non-existent) and it had been professionally constructed by a company based in Cornwall. So now I have a hive sat in the garden waiting for a passing swarm to take up residence!. Thanks to Boyd for helping me site it and bait it with wax and citronella. Let's hope the weather starts to pick up and the bees start looking for new places to hang out. Peter