Thursday, December 4, 2014

A New Bee Hive for Gear Acres

Yesterday we received the new bee hive in the mail that I ordered several months ago off of eBay.

This bee hive is slightly different than the one we already have here at The Gear.  This one is a narrower hive that has 5 frames in each box rather than 10 frames making the hive perfect for smaller yards or for the person with lifting limitations.  Each box when filled with honey, should weigh roughly half of what a regular 10 frame box would weigh.

Our intention is to place this hive in the center of a flower bed on the far north side of the yard.  I've seen these hives painted up in fun bright combinations and I want to give that a try.  During the winter I will sand and prime the hive.  I have contemplated on painting it black and then paint white lattice on it with vines and flowers growing on the lattice.  But.....and you know there is always a but....I am just not a very good artist.  So I am still in the planning phase.

Here is what the new hive looks like fully assembled.  Notice how it is narrower than a tradition 10 frame hive.

See the opening or entrance to the hive?  This is how it is normally and the bees can come and go across the entire opening.
This is all well and good in areas where the climate is mild but here in the north where we can have brutal temps during the winter, it helps to reduce the area where cold air can enter the hive.  This is especially important if your hive is located in a windy area.  This hive came with a little gadget that restricts the size of the entrance. You place this piece of wood in the entrance and depending on how you have it oriented, it will vary the amount of air that can enter the hive. See the little square opening on the right?  This would be the winter opening.
And this is the spring and fall position or the winter position if the winter climate is milder than in the north.
This screen piece is called a queen excluder. You place it between the brooder boxes, which are usually your two deep bottom boxes and the upper boxes.  This keeps the queen in the bottom two boxes.  Why keep the queen in the bottom two boxes?  She lays eggs and larva is developing and you do not want that in the boxes where you will be taking the honey. The queen is larger than the rest of the bees and she cannot make it through the screen.  The rest of the honey bees come and go through the screen without any problems.
 This is the inside cover and it goes on the hive before the roof.
If you look at the first photo you can see the queen excluder and the roof.

As soon as the seller starts listing more hives I will let everyone know.  The hive was packaged well and the construction of the hive was very nice.  Of course we will do a little sanding before we prime it but that is to be expected.  If you want to buy a hive for the upcoming summer, make sure you do it early enough so that you can prime and paint it.

Here is an interesting bee fact.  Next time you put a teaspoon of honey in your tea or coffee give this fact a little thought.