If you've found a easier way to do something regarding working in your hives I sure would appreciate it if you'd share it with us.
For the past two seasons, in order for me to add some oil patties on the top of the brood nests, I've been taking the blame thang apart and setting boxes off to the sides etc.
Well, I decided to just crack open up the boxes at the top of the brood box, slip a rock in it so my hands are free to shove in the patties, and ease the box back down.
Now this is something that you all probably do already but I didn't figure it out until yesterday.
Is there other things that you's do that makes working in the hives faster, easier, and places less intrusion on the bees?
I'm doing some long hives (trough hives). http://www.beesource.com/eob/althive/bush/index.htm That way I can open up whatever part of the hive I want without moving anything. I currently am doing one that is three standard boxes in length and all mediums (PermaComb in it right now). Also I'm doing one that is two boxes long and all Dadant Deeps. The one I had set up last year was all deeps and two boxes long.
I need to find out how they winter in a hard winter before I could say how well they do, but so far I'm liking them.
Lifting supers on and off to work the hive is the part that is getting more and more difficult as I get more hives and as gravity gets stronger. Don't laugh, it's obviously stronger. 100 pounds weighs more every year.
Thanks for the pictures Mike.
So where do the bees put in the honey for you? Or do you add the super to the tops of the trough.
When I did the one box of deeps that was two boxes wide, I put the supers behind on a longer bottom board (table actually). They had already started drawing the supers at the time, so this worked well. If they had hesitatee to draw the supers behind I was going to put them on top of the back half. Most of the brood nest is in front of that.
With the Dadant Deeps I expect all of the brood to be in the front 10 frames or so. So I can either stack supers on the back half and/or move them off (once they are started working them) to the back.
With the mediums I expect them (and so far they have) to keep the brood in the front 20 frames or so, so again, I'll stack them on the back 1/3.
There are really only two areas to a hive that you want to check. Supers and brood. Usually, unless they don't want to draw them, I put the empties on top, so I can check for room without lifting anything. With the horizontal hive configuration you can check the empty supers on top without lifting anything or check the brood chamber in front without lifting anything.
Aren't I lazy?
Heck, why kill yourself if it's not necessary?
So have you tried it yet? Does this work for you?
This isn't a tip for working hives, but for using wax. If you don't need to melt a huge amount of wax, instead of using a double boiler and creating a mess, use a soft drink can with the top cut off in a pot of boiling water. If you need to melt a bit more, just use a bigger pot and use multiple cans. Just remember to have a fair bit of wax in the cans so that they don't float and spill out all the wax into the water. Also don't use a tremendous amount of water to prevent the same thing from happening. After you are done, you can just throw the cans away. You can also make candles this way as well.
[This message has been edited by Branman (edited September 05, 2003).]
>So have you tried it yet? Does this work for you?
I have one hive that is a long medium right now and I had the double deep last year. I also built a trough hive back in the seventies for an old lady who loved bees and had a bad back. I haven't heard from her in years and don't know how that worked out. Mine worked ok, but the mites got them. It was a mild winter and I don't know how they will do in a harsh winter yet. I'm not sure how well they will move horizontally if it stays cold all winter, which it sometimes, but not most of the time, does. I intend to winter a couple of hives this way this winter and few more next winter and gradually convert to this if it keeps going well.