Tuesday, March 31, 2009

T-Minus Two Weeks!!!!

It's hard to believe that in exactly 2 weeks, I will have my hands on a package of 10,000 living, breathing, BUZZING bees! A week from next Monday after work I'll drive up to New England Bees and pick up my pre-ordered package. I ordered the package with a marked queen. It was a few dollars more, but as a beginner I figure I'll need all the help I can get identifying the queen!

Tonight I put the final coat of paint on most of the hive woodware (the picture above is some of the pieces I painted). I chose a brown color, to help it blend into the landscape. The bees don't mind the color, and I want to be a little inconspicuous with my hive (not that I expect problems, but why flaunt things with a bright whitewashed looking hive glaring in the backyard). I've got another evening of painting to do to finish the work.

I still have some work to do outside to prepare the hive location. I decided to set the hive right past the edge of my grass into a small area cleared in the wild area of the property. It'll face the east, so that the morning sun will rouse the bees and get them working (no sleeping in at our household!). Due to the location a little shade will be unavoidable, but I am trying to minimize things.

A week or so ago I ordered a bee suit from Dadant, and it arrived on Monday. I put it on, and after my family stopped laughing and commenting that I looked like either a spaceman (my 8 year old) or a fencing student (wife), I showed them how the various flaps, etc. keep out the bees. I think I will probably pick up an extra veil or two to have on-hand in case someone wants to see the hive more up close.

My wife is very supportive of my new endeavor, and even was asking about what plants to plant, etc. But the other night I made the mistake of showing her a picture gallery of a guy who removes swarms in houses for a living. He has some really cool pictures showing a natural comb hive ... occupying the space between studs of a living room wall! She looked at that, and asked, "could that happen TO US?!?!?!" I had to reassure her that the bees will be busy with their own hive, and having a relatively new house, we don't have the nooks and crannies that the bees will like. I hope I was right :-)

My friends at work know that I am starting on this adventure. It comes up as a topic of conversation around the lunch table quite often. Since I have done a lot of reading about beekeeping, my boss commented that I was a veritable wikipedia on the art/science of beekeeping. We'll see how my book learnin' translates into real live events.

So the next time I post should I should have some actual bees!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for stevensbees.blogspot.com

If you require any more information or have any questions about our privacy policy, please feel free to contact us by email at stevenchristensen@gmail.com.

At stevensbees.blogspot.com, the privacy of our visitors is of extreme importance to us. This privacy policy document outlines the types of personal information is received and collected by stevensbees.blogspot.com and how it is used.

Log Files

Like many other Web sites, stevensbees.blogspot.com makes use of log files. The information inside the log files includes internet protocol ( IP ) addresses, type of browser, Internet Service Provider ( ISP ), date/time stamp, referring/exit pages, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement around the site, and gather demographic information. IP addresses, and other such information are not linked to any information that is personally identifiable.

Cookies and Web Beacons

stevensbees.blogspot.com does not use cookies.

Some of our advertising partners may use cookies and web beacons on our site. Our advertising partners include Google Adsense.

These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to the advertisements and links that appear on stevensbees.blogspot.com send directly to your browsers. They automatically receive your IP address when this occurs. Other technologies ( such as cookies, JavaScript, or Web Beacons ) may also be used by the third-party ad networks to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and / or to personalize the advertising content that you see.
stevensbees.blogspot.com has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers.

You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party ad servers for more detailed information on their practices as well as for instructions about how to opt-out of certain practices. stevensbees.blogspot.com's privacy policy does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or web sites.

If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser options. More detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers can be found at the browsers' respective websites.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

T Minus One Month - Time to Paint

I just looked at the calendar, and couldn't believe that it's a little over a month that I will have my hands full with 10,000 worker bees and a queen. I will pick up my package in April from New England Bees.

I previously purchases the woodware from them in December. The hive has been sitting in my basement since then. Since the woodware comes "raw," I chose today to start the painting process. The weather was in the 60's (so they say), which is rare in New England this time of year.

Because the hive sits outside all of the time, I want to make sure my investment lasts. So I decided to put down a coat of primer first before painting the hive. I've seen pictures of hives which aren't well painted, and they don't last long. I guess those hives are from commercial beekeepers where they have too many hives to paint them individually, and can afford to replace wood more often. This is my first and only hive, so I want it to last.

I chose a light brown/tan as the final color, in order to blend in a little where I will be putting the hive (which is right behind the edge of my lawn, slightly into the woods). After the primer dries, I'll paint the final color. I'm not sure if it'll take one or two coats; but I won't begrudge a little painter's elbow in order to make things last.

One of the things which did not come with the hive kit was the "landing board." This is a sloped board which the bees use to land on. I suppose I could do without it (since the bottom board sits out about 3-4 inches from the hive). But I think they look neat! I don't have any plans or schematics for such a board, so I kind of eyeballed the design and cut things out of 1x3 pine I purchased. Let me tell you - when all you have is a cut-rate router and band saw, it's very hard to make precise groves for the boards! The tolerance on the ripping fences and other parts of the saw and router leaves a lot to be desired. But that's what you get for economy parts.

You can see the results of my work here:

(it is still being painted in this picture)

It's not perfect, but I hope the bees don't mind :-)
Blog Widget by LinkWithin