alleyooper inspired me to present this as a forum,does anybody have bees in wild gums?i've got a couple of hollow logs i've been getting ready for bees,modified top bars,i think they will winter well in gums and they look cool in the yard.
I posted this question on the other thread, but I will ask again.
Isn't keeping bees in gums illegal?
well,if your hive has removable frames it's legal,my gums have top bar frames that may be messy but i think they're street legal.also if you get a gum with a wild hive ,cut it off flat on top and add hive bodies the bees will move up and use them,so i guess you could argue that you were aclimating your bees slowly,just a more timely transfer.
I do not have any presently. And I can't say I recommend it for any kind of managment. Your top bars end up all different lengths, or if you make them the same length, the combs still end up different lengths. I have had them in boxes and gums and top bar hives. I didn't do top bars in the gums. I just let them build whatever they wanted. It's sort of managable. Not as bad as it says in the books but not as nice as having a square hive with interchangable combs.
There is something pleasing about the natural look of them. Without the top bars they would have been illegal when I had them but I only did them for a season to see what they would do and then I moved them into a regular hive.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited April 02, 2003).]
I would love to find an old bee tree to instablish in my yard as a Bee gum. If only to experience what my great grandfather did as he kept bee this way. Has everyone seen the observation hive on James Satterfield site that is made out of a partial hollow log. I think it would be a great educational thing to have.
[This message has been edited by beekeeper28 (edited April 02, 2003).]
You can always do a shaken swarm in chunk of hollow tree and start one. It's not difficult. Satterfields version adds another dimension to seeing what they do. I think if I were going to do it i'd use a pice of plexiglass for the lid and the window in the front and have some cover for both to block the light when I'm not watching. Do it with no top bars and you'll get to see better than your grandfather did what it was he had to work with.
To rob or inspect a bee gum, I would smoke them and examine from the bottom. I used scrap peices of 1x2 with no starter strips for the top so they could build anyway they wanted but I could pry one off without all of the comb coming loose and then I put a 1 x 12 on top of that for the top lid. You set the bottom on a flat board to seal it up and put a hole in the side of the log. The bees will build comb mostly in rows, but no telling in what direction and then there is a ripple effect in the comb somtimes and sometimes some bee starts something from the other side that just doesn't fit in.
Anyway, you can reach in with a long knife and cut off pieces of comb. Part of the problem is, no matter how careful you are to get honey comb, you often get some brood too. I found it very interesting on many levels. Seeing what the bees did left to themselves and experiencing what my grandfather did when dealing with bees. Besides the ckickens loved the brood, so it didn't totatlly go to waste.
i once checked out an abandoned hive a friend told me about, someone had placed a super with frames but no foundation on the hive and the bees had drawn all sorts of natural comb in very artistic and creative designs,pretty cool looking ,give it a try.