We began putting together the hive boxes this weekend. After cumulatively drilling 284 pilot holes in the finger-joints of the box sides (day 1), we began gluing and nailing them together (day 2 & 3). Here is our progress so far:
I feel better knowing the bees will have comfortable quarters to live in. Even more luxurious quarters are going to be available after I get down to Sarnia to pick up the hives my Opa is constructing.
We have decided to start with white paint for the exterior this year. Every year subsequent to this we will paint new hives a different color, for example, 2017 orange, 2019 blue, to better keep track of which year each box was constructed. That will make judging which boxes need replacing first easier. Next task is to paint them (exterior only).
Ottawa Tool and Fastener Supply is having a sale and we might be buying a drill press tomorrow! I never thought I would be this excited to get a workshop tool. The hours and days of back-breaking bucket cleaning are over!! ….Hopefully…! Plus, now we have the precision drilling tool needed for putting together the beehives. Excellent.
I am looking outside at a snowstorm. It is April 6 and it is snowstorming outside. Brrr. It has been too cold the past few days for any sap to flow. The forecast for tomorrow is promising for good sap run.
I am torn between feeling elated that I’ll be able to get at least one more boil in before the end of the maple syrup run, and feeling angst about the cold weather’s effect on the health of the bees’ that I am ordering. Talk about a new feeling, being worried about bees. The bees are not even in my possession yet and I am already worried about them. I must remember that the bees I am ordering from my local supplier, Mahmoud at Forestdew Honey (www.forestdewhoney.com), are overwintered in an indoor, climate controlled ‘beedome’ so they will not be subjected to the erratic weather conditions outside. The bees I have ordered are New World Carniolians. While half of the colonies I am getting will have imported queens, the other half will have Ontario queens. (My reasoning behind this: why not?) I will take note of which are which and make observations on whether the colonies featuring imported or domestic queens perform better. Courtesy of my Opa, the beeyard will host several homemade hives, as pictured below. What a craftsman he is. The bees will be ready for pick-up in late May. In the meantime I have more beehives to assemble and a bee yard to prepare for their arrival. That, I believe will keep me busy as a bee until they arrive.