Newbies and the New Bees

The bees are home!  A few weeks ago we installed the nucs in their brand new hive boxes, and it seems we managed to not totally screw things up.  If you’ve never seen this kind of thing before, it might look like we are pros.  If you have seen it before, well, it’ll look like we tried our best.  So glad I had help from my hubby, buddy and my baby.  The difference between the theory and practice of beekeeping becomes pronounced when you are staring down a few thousand bees.  Team work makes the dream work.  Check it out!


The making of a hive stand

The making of a hive stand turned out to be more involved than I expected. I took the bee keeping class, I read the books, and I talked to experienced apiarists. By most accounts the simplest hive stand I could make would be with a couple of 4x4s and some cinder blocks. Figured I’d plop them down and that would be it. Easy peasy. What I didn’t realize was that the need for level ground beneath the hive was more than a mere mention in the books and conversations I had; It was, in fact, critical to everything.

I didn’t have a level at home. Couldn’t find one in the garage so I went back to the hardware store and got me a nice handy serious-about-my-work level. As soon as I put it on the wood for a check and saw that it couldn’t be more UN-level I knew the easy stand idea was too good to be true. Discovered that a tiny bit of a slope is pretty significant, and learned that if the hive is tilted, the bees will build comb that way too! Makes sense to me.

So I hatched a plan, recruited hubby, searched YouTube, and then got to digging, and digging, and digging some more. Along the way I gained a new respect for leveling, real and metaphorically speaking.  Bottom line: balance is worth the effort and so much depends on it.