Sunday 22 April 2012

Three's a crowd.........

During the evenings of the past week I have been working hard on building a new top bar hive. For £35 I bought a load of 6 in. 'gravel boards' which will be enough to make two 38ins. long hives. I've decided to make the whole structure double walled, so 2ins. thick, in order to provide more insulation. The downside of this is that the hive is now very heavy, but once in position it should be very stable. On this new hive I have dispensed with the mesh bottom and will utilise a solid, removable, bottom board instead. I know that beep'er Tim in Castle Donington has a completely open hive bottom and has a thriving colony; again proving there is no official 'right' or 'wrong' way to do things in TBH world. Once completed I intend to locate this hive opposite the existing one to act as an insurance policy for possible problems in the future. I will initially prime it as a bait hive to try and catch a swarm.

Talking of swarms, and referring to the title of this post, I have distributed the first three of the experimental cardboard bait hives I made recently. Two have gone to an idyllic location, a small island in the River Soar owned by beep'er Shane. He already has two, as yet empty, TBH located there but two more potential homes can only increase our chances of catching a swarm. Shane intends for the island to be a wildlife haven and gave me a brilliant mini tour and entertaining boat crossing. Excellent Boys Own fun!  

Shane on the island with his two top bar hives.
You can just see the main channel of the
River Soar in the background.
(Apologies for the misplaced fig leaf!)

The other bait hive was collected this afternoon by beep'er Alison who has, what sounds like, an excellent location in a small strip of woodland backing onto the Elvaston Castle estate. During the coming week I also hope to drop of three more of the boxes to my neighbours and beep'er Pete in Belper.

On another note. During breaks in the showery weather there was a lot of bee activity with plenty of drones on the wing. The drones really make themselves know with their haphazard flying, gangly legs and loud buzzing - not unlike most teenage lads really.

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