Return to the Bee Yard

As I noted in my last visit, a couple hives were in need of some equipment, so I returned to the bee yard today to get them up to speed.  It’s a very sunny day with the high projected to be about 85 (the last couple days have barely made the 60’s and we covered things in the garden so they wouldn’t freeze.) and with the bee gear on it didn’t take long for the sweat to start to run.  Still, there’s nothing like spending time with the girls so I decided to snap a few pictures too.

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Burly is always there to keep an eye on things, but today he was more interested in soaking up the sun.  Pictures two and three are of the bee yard itself which shows the dry field behind us.  In the first picture the hive on the left is the hive I refer to as the “Split” hive.  The next two are the “Carny” hives.  In the picture above the hive on the left is the Italian hive, the hive in the middle is the “requeened” hive which we added a box to today, and the hive on the right is the surviving hive from last year.

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In the two pictures above you see the girls out on top of the frames (in the first pic) after I have removed the cover.  In the picture that follows (just above) I am holding up one of the frames of capped brood and bees.  This is the hive that was requeened and today I added another super to give them more room.  Below are just a few more pictures of the requeened hive before adding the new super on top.

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Remember how it all started back in April?  The Carny’s and Italians came in these kind of packages.

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Have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend everyone!

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4 thoughts on “Return to the Bee Yard

  1. Tyler Roberts Post author

    Your smart. I wish I had begun with all mediums because just as you say, everything is the same and it all works together that way. I was taught old school by some old timers so ended up beginning with traditional 2 deeps before mediums. Working on changing all that around but wish I had done what your doing. I really like the idea of marbles. Gonna have to try that out. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
  2. Homestead Dad

    Very cool. A couple quick questions, first why is the middle hive in the second picture up on another set of cinder blocks? Is it just to change it up a little? Also, are those chick waterers in between the hives and are you just using it to feed sugar water? I had never thought of using chick waterers for bees and I have a couple extra right now since I am not using them for chickens. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Roberts Post author

      The hive your referring to that is sitting up a little higher was the first one I put on cinder blocks. (A while back when I was expanding and getting more organized.) Then I realized I didn’t have the number of cinder blocks I needed to do all of them that way. 🙂 So its nothing more than a reflection of how many cinder blocks I had. What I was/am attempting to accomplish is to raise the height of my hives to make it easier on this 61 year old back. And along those lines you will notice that the bottom super is a deep (makes a perfect brood chamber) and the supers on top of the bottom deep are mediums. This combination is working well. The deep and the first medium are for the bees. I only take honey from a third box which I have not put on yet. The mediums do get moved around occasionally and they are simply lighter to lift. Even a medium full of honey can weigh 40 to 50 pounds. You might notice that the first hive on the left in the second picture consists entirely of mediums. They are just easier to move.

      And yes, those are chicken waterers. I put them out so bees have water available to them. The city limits runs across the back of my property. (sniff sniff, we used to be out of town) By city code I must make water available within 10 feet of the hives. The chicken waterers work really well but you need to place a number of small sticks in the bottom so the bees don’t drown. I’ve tried bigger waterers so I don’t need to fill them so often but for some reason the bees haven’t liked them as well. I do have a 5 gallon bucket with boards in it that they seem to be taking to a little bit this year, but those chicken waterers, for whatever reason seem to be used the most.

      I enjoy chatting bees so thanks for the questions. Do you sell honey? I just started selling last year and cannot believe the demand. I would like to double the number of hives I have and will need to talk to a friend who lives a mile away on 20 acres about doing that. I sold 6 gallons last year at $30 a quart!
      Take care.

      Reply
      1. Homestead Dad

        Makes sense. We currently use all mediums, so the first three are for the bees. This is mostly so we have everything the same with regards to frames and such, although we have thought about using deeps for the brood area. Have you tried marbles in the chicken waterers to keep the bees from drowning? That is what I do for chicks, it allows them to get to the water, but not fall in and drown.

        I have not sold any honey yet, as I just started last year and the hive didn’t make it. I would love to, but I think if things go well this year I will have plenty of demand for honey within my family and for use as gifts.

        I love learning anything I can about just about anything, especially beekeeping. Thanks for sharing.

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