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Early Spring Warm Days Makes for a Busy Bee yard.

It was a great weekend to get a lot of work done in the bee yard. Here are a few snapshots.

We've added a few new hives to the yard.

The two on the left are Apimay hives that are made in Turkey. These are made from food grade plastic but the interesting aspect of these hives are that they are insulated. Between the outer and inner layers is a 1 inch thick piece of foam. This foam effectively gives an R value of almost 7. This is six times more heat insulating than a wooden hive.

The hives on the right, are Horizontal hives. These are unique in that instead of the hive growing vertically they grow horizontally. This layout is not natural for the bees so there is no benefit for the bees, however there is a huge benefit for the beekeeper. Horizontal hives allow the beekeepr to pull honey from the hive without having to pick up and remove entire boxes of honey which could weigh up to 80 pounds per box. Instead the horizontal hive allows the beekeper to open the hive and pull out individual frames of honey.

Next, we added beeswax foundation to the new hives. This process went rather quickly thanks to small trick I've learned over the years. Using a 12v battery we can lay a sheet of beeswax on the frame then attach the leads from the battery to the metal wires on the frame which causes the wires to heat up and melt the wax. This essentially welds the sheet of beeswax to the frame so it won't move while the bees start to work on the wax building up their comb.

We have several new Hive Hosts this year, so we need to get their hives ready for the bees. This means building frames and adding foundation. 30 hive bodies, 300 frames, 300 sheets of beeswax and 900 5/8" wedge nails.

Finally, after cleaning up the honey hut and taking inventory of equipment, I was able to harvest some old honeycomb. So I scrapped off the comb that I could and I started the process of rendering the wax to separate the trash from the wax. This will eventually produce a solid block of clean golden beeswax which will be used to make lip balm.

The start of a new bee season is exciting but the amount of work is increasing each week. Next up, checking the swarm traps for feral bees or bees from other beekeepers that didn't catch their hives in time to stop them from swarming. Free bees are the best bees!

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