I've been lurking for a few weeks and it's time to introduce myself. I had a false start beekeeping a couple years ago, and I consider this my first year. In retrospect, I'm kinda glad it was a false start because I have learned so very much in the meantime, reading books, going to classes, researching on the internet. Now it's time for practical experience!
I live in the high mountains of southwest Colorado, at 8700+ feet. I'm going to keep my bees on a friend's organic farm a few miles away. The farm is located quite a bit lower, at 7500 ft, which I figure is a better situation for the bees. I'm super interested in connecting with other high altitude beeks. Managing the hives in this cold, snowy environment will be one of my challenges. Not too many beekeepers in this immediate area, and no other top bar hive beekeepers that I've been able to locate. This will also be another challenge.
I decided to try two styles of hives: top bar and foundationless Langstroth. I'm super excited to try both disciplines, and I've enjoyed learning about both. My bees start arriving next week....pumped!
I do have a couple of questions (of course)!
1. I made top entrances to the lang hives a la Michael Bush. Should I drill a hole in the bottom board for drainage? I had already purchased a few bottom boards, then decided to go with top entrances. In the future, can I simply use some plywood for the bottom? The hives are off the ground a bit, on pallets. Has anyone tried this?
2. I am going to be placing my 8 frame mediums onto a 10 frame deep.....does anyone have experience with this? Any problems I should be aware of? Or just things to keep in mind with this style of arrangement?
3. I made top bar hives per Les Crowder's specifications. What do folks use as an entrance reducer for top bar hives? I'm sure duct tape will work, but I'm looking for other suggestions.
Thanks so much. I've already learned so much from ya'll. I love all the beautiful pictures that everyone's posted. I will post a photo of my set up in a couple of weeks, when I'm up and going. In the meantime, I thought everyone will enjoy the attached photo I took this morning, out my back window. No more complaining about your weather!