Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bee Box Conversion

I came home from the farmer's market around noon to find Adam deep into serious bee work.
After years of having two shapes of bee boxes, he's decided to convert all his Warre hives (the skinny ones with the little roofs) into Langstroth hives (the others).
He also decided to paint the hives boxes, for which effort he enlisted the help of the resident artist. Julia wasn't very enthusiastic, but she did help. They chose red. Adam built these new Langstroth boxes this morning.
This will be his new standard size bee box -- not a square, like the Warre, and not 10 frames wide like the big Langstroth. These have 8 frames across.
He also made another Nuc box. It's always useful to have Nuc boxes in case you need/want to start a new hive.
Adam's goal is not to sell honey. Lots of people do that. He wants to sell bees and queens, so he must become good at splitting hives, manipulating frames of bees, spotting queen cells, forcing queen cells, etc. There's an increasing demand for bees, and the genetics of his bees is very good.
Anywho ...
Below you see the Warre hive on the right. The new Langstroth hive is red. If you look closely you can see a flat red board on top of it with the center cut out in a square. After this photo was taken, Adam lifted the 3 Warre boxes and put them atop the red Langstroth box. For this, the angry bees made him pay with four stings.
Over the winter the bees move up in the hive (for warmth; heat rises). So the bees are in the two top Warre boxes. In summer the bees move down in the hive. They will move down into the red box since it's on the bottom. In a couple of weeks, after the hive has drawn comb in the red box, he'll remove the top Warre box, full of honey. He'll feed that back to the hive, but remove the box to squeeze them downward. Eventually he'll transition the whole hive into Langstroth boxes.
Phew! That's a lot of info!
Meanwhile, on the back porch, the radishes are coming along.

3 comments:

  1. That's our Adam! He's not following the crowd and selling honey. No, he's messing around with bee genetics! lol! I'm proud of Adam. I once thought that beekeeping would be a fun hobby, but I think I'm WAY too lazy to take on all of that! :) You farmers keep up the good work.

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  2. Phew! I learned a lot from this post. I had to laugh when the radishes got a little mention at the end!

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  3. Yay! You're saving the bees. Greatly needed, from what I hear.

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