Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Beekeeping Adventure Begins!

Last summer I went on a small farms tour in our county and was totally captivated by a wonderfully detailed demonstration of beekeeping. I had never seen working hives up close and personal, and I found the bees to be absolutely amazing. When the beekeeper mentioned that beekeeping is a good hobby for busy people because the bees only need attention every few weeks, I was sold.

In December I went to a beginning beekeeping class and earlier this month I ordered my equipment. I ordered the hive bodies and supers unassembled because I thought it would be fun to have some "hands-on" work before the bees arrived. I have a strange idea of fun!

Here you can see two of the hive bodies and one of the supers already assembled, and the last super still in four pieces.

The hardest part of the job was getting the dovetails to fit together snugly. The fit is quite tight, so it took a little bit of muscle to get them to the right spot. I call my muscle "Hugh". He quite graciously gave me a hand when needed.

A closer look at a finished hive body:

I hung one of the hive frames in here just to give the idea. When the hive is all assembled, there will be eight of the frames inside.

Next week's job will be to paint them. I haven't decided if I want to do the traditional white or if I will be more artistic.

Decisions, decisions!

But the adventure has begun.


  1. Fascinating! How does one encourage honeybees to set up house in your new hives once you set them out?

  2. David, I've ordered what's called a "package" of bees from a professional beekeeper. The package will arrive in late April and will include a queen as well as the worker bees. I'll install them in the hive and they'll get busy populating the hive and eventually making honey.

    The package needs to be installed within a day or two of arrival, so getting everything set up in advance is a great winter project. By mid-April I should have all my equipment prepped and in place, so when the bees arrive I only have to worry about transferring them to the hive.

    "Only" she says, like she's done this a hundred times! I think this will be the most challenging step!