Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Expanding the Bee Yard

At most three hives have been kept on the current Hive stand in the back yard.  It has better Sun than the previous location and a little less humidity.  All in all i like it but essentially the bees own the back yard.  Not a terrible problem but the property is wooded so they need to go where the Sun shines.

Old Backyard Bee Yard - Fall 2010
The problem is what to do with any new hives once I get them.  If the front yard is the garden the only Sunny spot left is the culvert along the road.  It's on a slope but it's all I have left.

I made a new hive stand but only 4.5 feet wide.  It can hold 2 hives with room to work without placing anything on the uneven ground.  This time i sunk the feet into the ground.  The winds here can be bad and we get a good wind storm every year.  The kind that can topple an unanchored stand.  Instead of 2"x6"'s I only used 2"x4"'s.  I put 6"x6" stones beneath the footers to keep the stand from sinking.  It faces due East so the hives will face the morning Sun and not suffer so much from rain coming from the West or South.

New Hive Stand with it's first colony

The plan is to place 4 or 5 of these stand down the slope.  Which means 8 to 10 colonies.  At first each stand will have a Double Deep and a Nuc hives placed on them.  That will change as more colonies enter the Yard.  Eventually Mary & Myrina will be moved down here too.

This slope sits in full Sun and we've already begun planting it for bees.  Mint, pussy willow, cone flower, Chickasaw plum, salvia, sunflower, borage, buckwheat, plus everything else we end up thinking of.

First of many Hive stands
I have a package coming next month and I will be making another Nuc, from Myrina.  I will also be putting out a few swarm traps near feral colonies.  It already looks like I need to build the next 2 stands.

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Anonymous said...

Are you getting bees from Dadant in Chatham, VA, in April? I've got one package coming. Maybe I'll see you there!

Hemlock said...

Eventually we're going to run into each other at Dadant's but not this weekend. My package comes from a local guy (up here near Appomattox) he is running down to Georgia and bringing a truck load back up.

Good luck with the new package.