Tis’ the season to be working on bee-ware. Given the bad weather I took the opportunity to get some inside work done. I caught up on some back episodes of The-Self-Sufficient Gardener Podcast which was nice. The episode on Potatoes made me think of some parallels between the Irish Potato Famine and our current trials and tribulations with bees. I will save that for a later post.
Instructions on frame construction have been done to death, and this guy from Australia’s video is good enough that I am not going to try duplicate it.
I use the same methods except I use a Brad Nailer with 18G brads, and I DO NOT put foundation in the frames. My feeling is that bees should know how to build their own comb.
I will take the time to point out one particular aspect of frame construction that I feel needs mentioning for any NewBees reading this. There are two nails that MUST be put into the frame, one on each end.
This nail will keep you from pulling the top of the frame off once the bees glue everything together inside the box. I learned this the hard way when I purchased my initial two hives. This step had been neglected on some of the frames by the previous beekeeper. When a deep frame comes apart full of capped honey, pollen and brood first you will curse, then you will wonder “What do I do NOW?!?” Then you will curse some more. So don’t forget or be lazy.
After all of my frames have had the eyelets inserted and are wired I will apply wax to the top bars. I have video on YouTube showing this from back in September 2011.
The waxed frames will go in my swarm traps. The rest will be held back and used when it comes time for hiving the trapped swarms. I will have a post later this spring explaining that procedure.
If you have bee-ware setting around unassembled get on the ball. The bee season will soon be upon us.