Thursday 7 March 2013

More Bees or Bees Part III (3rd time Lucky?)

Thursday 7/3/13

I get a surprise phone call from Dave on Wednesday evening to say someone in the Belper area was looking to get rid of a colony along with hive, would I be interested? YES!

Thinking this would be happening over the next week or so imagine my shock when I got a call this afternoon to ask if I was really interested and if so could I collect them soon?
"How soon?" I asked.
"Anytime today or tomorrow morning. We're moving house tomorrow and we would like to hand them  over as soon as possible".

Okaaay, a little sooner than I'd expected.

"How big is the hive, I've only got a car, and do the legs come off?" I asked.
"About 4ft long and no the legs don't come off" was the reply.

Length is ok but height not good. Tricky.

"We could saw the legs off if that helps", they said.
"Right-ho, do that and I'll be there as soon as possible"

And off I went and arrived home 45 mins later with a hive without legs plus bees (I hope, not yet verified). It's currently sat on the patio on two concrete blocks.

 Its a bit of an odd looking hive maybe its the lack of legs ...

Looks like the ones produced by Thorne and appears to be made from plywood. I haven't measured the dimensions yet but seems to be no longer than 3ft.

Moved to its new temporarily permanent place in the garden this morning (Saturday 9th). Didn't hear much from the hive when I was shortening the legs and moving it around. Hope they're still in there!

Not likely to see any activity in the next few days given the weather predictions (the gaffer tape has been removed from the exit hole at the front just in case they want to go for a fly round).


  1. Hi Pete & Mary
    Great news about the new bees. Is the hive a TBH (which it sounds like) or some other varient? If it is an established colony it should be much easier to keep them first alive and secondly keep them in your location. If they are still covered (inside an old duvet or something similar) I would try, if its possible, to put them in the position you would like them to be (even if its only on the breeze blocks) and uncover them so they have access to the outside on warmer days. If you need to 're-house' them or want to add legs at some later date it will make doing so that much easier.

    This really is excellent news and is a good 'advert' for setting up a local group. Well done to Dave as well.

    (for the moment Beeless in Doha)

  2. Hi Boyd. Hope you're enjoying the new life. At least the weather is warmer in Doha than here; cold, wet and foggy today - not ideal bee weather.
    Yes its a TBH and the lady who was getting rid of it had a colony in it for at least 4 years so its well established. Apparently it has swarmed at least once every year so sounds vigorous and healthy. time will tell. Not sure if the hive dimensions are the same as those we use, it looks wider and shallower but that may just be a bit of an optical illusion.
    One problem that'll need solving quickly before putting it into its final position is cutting the legs flush with the base of the hive. Although the legs are bolted on I dont fancy delving inside just yet to get to the bolt heads - maybe later in the year. I think I'll get a builder friend to construct a couple of concrete block pillars, put a couple of gash wood bearers across and rest the hive on them.

    Take care,

  3. Pleased to hear you have a third instalment of bees, good luck! Sounds v promising.

    You could alway construct some kind of wooden stand - kind of like a saw horse & sit the box in that?


    1. Thanks Alison. I did think about plonking it on an old Black & Decker Workmate and may still do so as a temporary measure :-)

  4. Hi P&M
    The new hive looks good and appears to be approx. TBH dimensions; it's a shame the legs had to be cut off. I would do what you suggest and build a temporary, sturdy, platform and when the weather warms up (and you're feeling brave) re-attach some legs. You can obviously use the remaining parts of the legs as templates to make the new ones (numbering them so you know which one goes where). You may find that the bolts nearest the main colony area have been propolised in and can be undone from the outside and if the other end is 'free' that should be relatively simple. You may also find, given that the colony has been established for a few years, that the entire hive is full. Either way Good Luck and remember 'slow and steady wins the race'.

    Again excellent news.

    Jealous of Doha

    1. Hi Boyd. The existing bolts look cheap and nasty and are probably well rusted up. I don't fancy knocking seven bells out of them with bees taking a close interest in my activities, so at the moment my thoughts of a permanent solution are based on brickwork pillars or similar. Will keep you informed!

  5. Yesterday (Friday) I screwed a couple of temporary bits of 2 x 1 across the shortened legs to make lifting and manoeuvring easier, tried to square up the hive as all the legs were hacked to different lengths and undid an entrance hole to let a bit of air circulate. Didn't see any bees but didn't expect to given the weather.

    I'd like to take a look at the underside as I"m not sure that the hive is open underneath, just a part of it. I believe it has removable varroa board somewhere which I'll take a look at when I locate it

    Today if the weather's not too bad I'm going to try and saw the legs flush with the bottom of the hive and get it square and level as best I can. I'll leave it like that until I can get a more permanent solution figured out

  6. Hi Pete just seen this great news and its all taken place really quickly - are you taking them on holls with you? Mike

    1. They might appreciate the warmer weather but I think they may count as excess baggage :-)