Page 3

Probably not what you expected to find on a 'page 3', but this page will contain note and pictures of beekeeping things and also pictures of bees - which are mostly female.


First is something I've promised to show another beekeeper, but the picture isn't good enough to be in a blog post so the whole thing is here for the time being.

This is a double hive stand Mark 1, built to replace a stand made from concrete blocks and fence posts. The line of hives is foreshortened due to the angle of view, they aren't really as close together as they look. There is space for a nuc between the two full sized hives on the stand, and plenty of space for me and the crate between the stand and the next hive.

The stand is 18 inches high, this brings the top of the brood box to just about my hip height which means less bending during routine inspections - which in this area are weekly from about March through to mid-July or August (unclipped queens need weekly inspections). Some would say this is too high to comfortably add three or four supers, but supers are on for a relatively short time and I can use a ladder if I should ever be so fortunate as to need one.

There does need to be a slight modification, which will be easy enough to do with minimal disturbance to the bees. The horizontal support to the rear of the hive needs to be slightly wider - it can be done whilst still making sure the weight is supported by the leg. As it is now there's a slight risk of the hive being moved forwards, the back slipping off the rail and dropping into the chasm below. I can quite easily slide a length of timber into the gap, I'm sure the bees will hardly notice it happening.

I have thought about incorporating permanent landing board with a vertical slight lip, to act as a stopper and to reduce the risk of bees flying beneath the front of the hive and clustering beneath the open mesh floor. I think it would get in the way, so may just add a narrow batten to the front. I like landing boards - they are an easy way of helping the bees identify their home and so reduce drifting between colonies within an apiary. The hive in the foreground uses an estate agent board, the one next to it has plywood landing board with a painted mark. The boards remain with the colony until no longer needed.

I may also add a metal loop of some sort, to keep the ratchet strap firmly in place.

Why the black crate? - That's to put the roof and any supers on during an inspection, it's easier than putting them on the ground. Maybe one day I'll make an inspection table, I've got a handy solid-topped pallet, all it needs is legs - but first I need another two or three of these hive stands.


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