Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Adding a second story....

.....to the bee hive.  The bees needed the space and I think everyone can relate to that situation.

The second box was needed for honey storage for the bees to store enough honey to get them through the winter.   Plus, their population is expanding and no one likes to be cramped.

So Monday morning we drove to our beekeeper's house and bought another 10 frame deep box.  I spent an hour or so in the afternoon on priming and painting the exterior.

Grandma Cat checking out the box and frames before installation

While we were at the beekeeper's house I asked a lot of questions.  One of those questions was "how do you make the smoker smoke?"  The answer was dried sumuc, specifically the dried flower head or what is called sumac bobs.  My brother in law had told us that is what he used but I didn't realize that that is what most beekeepers use.
In our area the sumac is the staghorn sumac and we are lucky or unlucky, in some cases because it spreads easily, to have a large patch of it behind our barn.  I cut a large handful of stalks to dry but by evening they were still too green to stay lite in the smoker.

This was R's first official beekeeping duty.  So we were both kind of anxious about how well it was going to unfold especially since he would be going in smokeless because the sumac wouldn't stay lite.  We waited until just before dark for R to suit up.

First up was removing the roof.  Bees were flying around but really not agitated more just disturbed.  Next was the inner cover which he lifted off gently.  He then set the new box on top but first making sure that there were no bees resting on the edge of the lower box that might get crushed.  The box was very gently set down so that it didn't move the lower box.  All the while he was working on the hive, he made sure not to make any sudden movements.  He then reassembled the box by putting the inner cover back on and then the roof.  He then stepped away.

I can't wait until we can move the hive and replace the shingles and windows #looksohsouglynow

We watched the bees for about 30 minutes and slowly they went back into the box and then it was too dark to see much of anything until morning.  Morning came and everything looked great.  Bees coming and going.
All was well with the hive.