Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bee Box

Before: with 1x12 pine.  The red is propolis* left from the
first colony of honeybees.

The wood on the sides needs to be thicker.  I learned that after the first colony of bees didn't make it through the winter nearly a year and a half ago.  We think it was the cold.  1 x 12" pine lumber may not insulate enough to keep the bees alive when the temperatures really drop.

Cozy and clean and ready for a swarm
Building the top bar hive from plans took about a week in spare time.  I loved shaping the bars that hold the honey comb and the brood.  Fortunately, retrofitting the hive with another layer of 1x12 was a straightforward task of three hours because a whole week wasn't available.  The box now is nearly twice as heavy, but new occupants will be pleased, I think.

Top bars in place.
Honey Bee Things I get to do today include "torching" the inside of the hive to kill any possible micro-critters that may have bothered the bees.  All the last minute preparations for a new colony are complete except finding a place for the hive to "live."  The folks that gave me all the apples last year are my target.  I hope they say yes.

*Propolis is made by honey bees from tree buds, saps or other plant sources.  The bees use it to seal all the cracks in the hive.  They also strengthen the edges of the wax honeycomb with propolis making it strong enough to be "walked on" by all the hundreds of bees as they bring in the nectar.  Propolis is also an antimicrobial, dental antiplaque agent, and an antitumor growth agent.  In addition propolis can reduce by half the damage caused to chromosomes by ionizing radiation. Wikipedia 


  1. This will be interesting to follow. Our neighbor is a certified bee something or the other and has a yard full of hives. She asked me to let her know if I happened on a swarm. I would, and I would be standing far back.

    1. Swarming bees are very mellow. Most honey bees are that way in general. They really just want to gather nectar and pollen and tend their babies. Just watch out with bare feet and clover blossoms. Does your neighbor share her honey with you? That would be a sweet gesture.

  2. Bees! (Can you tell I am getting caught up on your blog?)

  3. Good to hear from you, m'dear. I have wondered how you were doing and where you'd gone.