Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hobby or Job?

I have been working the last few weekends just getting ready for the upcoming beekeeping year. Right now I have the TBH in the shop up on the work horses getting a new coat of paint, and a few modifications. I'll have more on the modifications to the TBH once they are finished. I have two new NUC’s, one is out as a swarm trap, and the other is to house one of my two 3lb bee packages due to arrive early May. I put together ten new supper wooden frames, and installed wax starter strips to twenty supper frames. I have been applying coats of paint to wood and Beemax hives, and I cooked up a gallon of sugar and water syrup…… good thing this is only a hobby.

The main thing I wanted to do this weekend was move my eager NUC into one of my new ten frame hive bodies with its new base. Below is a ten minute video of how I moved the NUC into its new home. I wish I had held the frames in front of the video camera a little longer. This five frame NUC had a five frame supper on it. Last fall I put 2 full frames of capped honey in the supper. The bees used up all those resources of honey over the winter, but they are working on drawing out the other supper frames. They are strong and progressing, but also have a bad infestation of Small hive Beetle. Hopefully the new base with the inspection drawer full of vegetable oil will trap enough beetles to bring it back under control.

If you saw the video, you saw me taking pictures. I like taking pictures, it allows me to see problems and fine details later on.
Frame one is fully drawn out but empty.
Pollen stores on Frame 2

Capped brood on Frame 3Uncapped brood on Frame 4
Pollen stores on Frame 5
The new hive is in the same location as the NUC, the only difference is the entrance is about 1 foot lower. Everyone that I shook out of the Nuc or was returning from foraging kept gathering at the same location where the old entrance would have been. It took 20 minutes before they all found their way in.

Here is “Old Faithfull” on the left, and the eager NUC in its new home in the middle. All the work I've been doing, and I forgot one of the most crucial components of the hive……. a HIVE COVER. I luckily had a scrap of plywood lying around that I can use while I prepare and paint a more permanent top.

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