Saturday, December 08, 2012

Setting up Bee Keeping

I've been reading up on beekeeping.  For years I've had bee boxes for Orchard Mason Bees.  Now I'm feeling like they are the gateway drug for Honey Bees.

Today we went to Portland, BeeThinking store.  Bought a Top Bar Hive.  Went to their beekeeping class a few weeks ago, and this seems like the best approach for me.  Easier to manage, less weight for the back to manage.  That coming from someone who lifts 200# fig trees.  This is from their website,

The hive kit fit nicely into the back of a Prius. Over the winter I'll be assembling it. Got the copper roof for rain protection and keep a bit cooler.
The bee that got Ferdinand the Bull into trouble. I have this image tattooed on my right calf. I share a few traits with Ferdinand.

I also placed an order for Italian Honey Bees for next Spring.

Woodcut of honeybee and red clover. I will order some red clover seed and inoculum so I will have more nectar sources nearby. Also those linden trees although they may not do much next Spring. Blackberries are endemic, including our property, and honeybees love blackberry flowers. The fruit trees are small, so may not be meaningful this year for the bees, but there are lots in the area.  I read that honey bees forage as far away as 3 miles.

And one in Portugal, made from cork. It will be fun to learn about another aspect of gardening and nature.

Victorian Beehive via There are many variations on beehives. Bees have been at it much longer than humans. Even though we have a certain image in mind when we think of beehives, they don't have to look like the usual boxes.
Skeps in UK.  Skeps are hand woven, basket-like beehives.
Ukranian beehive, also via wikimedia commons.
Skep, 1800s, Switzerland.
Cork beehive in Portugal, also via wikimedia commons.

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