Friday, April 23, 2010

Problem with counting hives

I originally only wanted 2 hives in my back yard for the first year. I built a stand that can accommodate 3 hives comfortably, and 4 a little cramped. This was placed on the back deck because the flowers and bushes I purchased are too short and not grown in enough for where I will eventually have the hives.

I started off with two carni hives from Larry. Then we made arrangements to for me to take a third. This one was a Kona Queen from Hawaii. I took it in place of getting paid for helping the Tates.

I went over there today with 2 mediums full of frames for me to do a quasi-frame exchange and have a few of his bees draw comb for me, and at the least put my 8 frames on his 10 frames with a shim and let them work up into them so I could give my bees a head start and he could keep his from swarming. win-win for everyone.

We pulled up to the yard with the intention of swapping a few frames, and out came a swarm. It started boiling out of the hive as we pulled up. Larry hopped out and started banging rhythmically on the metal of the outer cover he grabbed. An older beekeeper we talked to told us that it causes a swarm in progress to hurry up and land low. If it works, who knows? I do know that the swarm started gathering on a fence post out in the open. This is the 3rd time I have seen this happen.

All we had were my supers and the frames. No bottom. We put a 10 frame top on my 8 frame body and put it over some of the bees that were gathering on the ground at the fence post in a bucket size hole. We raced back to Larry’s and grabbed a bottom and some shims. When we got back they were already marching into the hive body. We put a 10 frame top and bottom board on my 8 frame supers with a shim to make it fit right and threw everything together. The bees just marched right in.

We did some work on the yards (for 6 hours!) and Larry told me to just close it up and take the whole thing home and keep it.

So here I sit now, 3 hives on the back porch that look very nice. One cobbled together mess of a hive with a bottom board and top too big on 4 cinderblocks where the hive stand will go next year and 2 Kona queens and 2 carni queens!

I now have to make another brushy mountain order for a full hive because I am using what were going to be my honey supers, as brood chambers now...

I will try to take a picture of this mess tomorrow for everyone to see.


  1. Do you want congratulations or condolences?
    Just kidding...

    Congratulations on capturing the swarm. Though you do sound down about it. When I first started i wanted 10 hives. Then after struggling through this rotten winter i wanted no more than 4 hives. Now after hiving a package I'm thinking 6 would be good. Expectations can be a real bear!

    Now you can start looking for an Out-yard.

  2. Your hive is set up so nicely. Now I wish we had done ours like that.

  3. Hemlock: I have the option of putting some hives out at the airport where I work. It is in the country. But, I will have to wait until I get more money to throw at them. I am all messed up now and have to run to a near by supplier to get some stuff.

    Michelle: This is a cobbled together piece of work. You should go to the earlier posts to see how I am doing the hives. This one here is my 8 frame boxes, Larry's 10 frame bottom board with a shim and a bunch of stuff (incluiding a wad of wax foundation) as an enterance reducer and a 10 frame top... I am going today to get a BB and a top for 8 frame and will have to stain and seal the new wood.

  4. Jared,

    Where are you going locally to get supplies? I want to change my foundation for when I add my second hive body. Bee Hives are like people it doesn't matter whats on the outside what matters is whats on the inside.