The Hive Arrived!

I came home to find two boxes sitting in front of my garage.  I have to say, I haven’t been this excited since the days when the boxes were from FAB or Sephora.  A big thank you to Betterbee for all their help and speedy delivery.

The feeder

First out of the box was the feeder.  When establishing a colony, you want to make sure the bees settle in and get right to work, so feeding them sugar water in the hive is a good incentive.  The feeder takes up one slot in the hive body and includes little ladders so the bees can climb in and out without drowning.

Ladders for the feeder

The cover for the hive in this particular kit was polystyrene, (some day soon I will replace it with copper covered pine) and included an inner pine cover.  The outer cover acts like eaves of a house to protect the hive from the elements.  The inner cover provides temperature control, airflow and an upper entrance.

The inner and outer covers

The base, or bottom board, is cedar and I immediately wanted to take it into my closet; the smell was wonderful.  It includes an entrance reducer, this small piece of wood can be moved to allow more or less space for bees to enter and air to flow.

Bottom board and reducer

Then the hive bodies full of frames emerged.  The kit I bought holds ten deep body frames.  Traditionally the frames, (where all the comb is built) are wood with wire or plastic foundations to build upon.  My kit included one-piece waxed plastic frames and foundations.  I’m looking for a quick start here, it’s already June and we are deep into the production season.  If my bees are to survive the winter they will need plenty of stores to snack on.

One frame with foundation

Finally, two important tools for tending the bees.  A smoker is used to let the bees know you are there with a small puff before opening the hive.  It also calms them.  The combustible material used is pine needles and small scraps of wood.  The hive tool is invaluable for prying loose sticky parts and lifting the frames.

Hive Tool
Smoker

Bees are slated to arrive this weekend.  Before that I need to find a site for the hive: sunny with some afternoon shade, protected from too much wind and surrounded with electric fence to deter the bears and raccoons. 

One thought on “The Hive Arrived!

  1. This really amazes me — that you started beekeeping right around the same time I did and that you're also blogging about it. I'm looking forward to following your adventures with bees to see what I can learn.

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