I'm not working on the bee hut, but I'll say a couple words about the DeWalt lightweight drivers; LOVE THEM! I've got the drill and the impact driver with the bitty batteries. I'm working with a couple guys who have the old style bigger batteries, and I don't bother picking them up. The new drivers/batteries are a pleasure to work with, lightwieght with a nice balance. The batteries last long enough for an amateur builder, and recharge in about 30 - 45 minutes. I don't use them steady much, so I can't tell you how long they hold the charge. They are 1.5aH. You can get larger batteries up to 4aH, but I don't need them. I have the 2 tools and 3 batteries, and have yet to have to sit idle waiting for a battery to charge.
Intermountain (Cascades and Coast range) oak savannah, 550 - 600 ft elevation. USDA zone 7a. Arid summers, soggy winters
This is a great video, my bees don't have a roof but I think I am going to make one after watching this, I did build them a fenced wind break.
One other thing you might want to add to this, that I have on my lands is a small little fountain, where the water gets sand wet. I have done several waterers over my years a beekeeper and wet sand seems to be the preferred method for drinking, they can rest of the sand and drink the water off the sand, with out getting caught in the falling water. let me see if I can go find a picture.
Plus is is water that doesn't pool so no need worry about stuff living in that is bad
2 weeks back, Sofia and I carefully stacked some bales around the bees in order to give them a little extra shielding from the elements. The bales being colossal, they would only fit lengthwise or on end without messing up the electric fence. Then this week, it's that joyous occasion which heralds winter...
The drones, themselves very gluttonous and unable to do any chores, were swiftly sent for a winter's day stroll. Gotta earn your keep when honey stores get tight.
The bees were out today. More than usual.
I'm used to seeing them pop out here and there, but today was especially warm and balmy up at the Lab. I was chopping wood and noticed 5 or 6 bees in my line of vision at once, so I headed over to the ultimate skiddable wonder, and lo and behold those winged thangs were just bustling in and out of the hive. Busy busy, them.
Interesting. How many hives do you have up there now?
Also, The strawbales look great for winter insulation, but it looks like a pain to actually do any hive management with them on. What do you do in winter if you need to check that the cluster isn't trapped away from their stores? Or do you just leave them be until spring and strip it all down?
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
Shelby and I got the bee hive all insulated up for the coming winter. We stacked a total of 6 straw bales around and on top of the hive, and secured them in place by wrapping a few loops of twine around the whole thing. Then we stuffed all of the cracks with loose straw. The bees seemed a little curious about the straw bales at first, with a few of them landing on the straw to inspect this new addition to their hive environment, but later on they were carrying on with their beesness like nothing ever happened. When we returned later in the day to check on the hive, it did seem like they were more active than before, with more bees coming and going from the entrance. I don't know if it was because the hive was warmer or because it was later in the day, but i like to think that the bees appreciate their new winter jacket.
Emerged from this inviting trail at dusk to a collective buzz. The bees are back!
There has been some debate as to whether or not the bees were stealing last year's honey or if they had actually moved into the hive as a forever home.
Based on 2 observations, some bees had a shedding exoskeleton and others were larger and shinier, plus they were all entering the hive from two separate holes at sunset. No bees were leaving the hive. It seemed like rush hour to get home before sunset.
I hypothesize these bees are multiple generations and are therefore home-sweet-home.
I don't know much about bees and welcome others opinions.
As it was getting dark my pics don't reveal too many clues though.
Jacob Wustner of Sapphire Apiaries came out to examine our hive and determined that it was robber bees coming in and stealing the honey left by the colony that died. It appeared the colony had died from a mite infestation. This was sad news.
Jacob is doing amazing things with breeding healthier, more resilient hives and he brought us a new colony in mid May.
Jacob brought the new colony here in his painted hives, then moved the frames into a new unpainted hive of ours. We did not put the new colony into the old hive where the last colony had died. Jacob took the old hive away with him and said he'd bring us back some of the remaining honey.
I had a 20 minute conversation yesterday with fred. Fred is a vegan. Vegans don't eat honey. The reasons might change from vegan to vegan (and I have met some vegans that call themselves "beegans" because they will eat honey). The reason seems to me that taking the honey is disrespectful to the bees. In this case, the colony is gone and honey is left behind. So would eating this honey be okay? Fred said that for him it was a gray area. He feels like it would now be okay to eat the honey, but he won't just because he already has dietary patterns that don't include honey.
Based on 2 observations, some bees had a shedding exoskeleton
Really? News to me. Can someone please explain that?
I love this hut!!!
Someone mentioned possible problems with electric fencing & bees. I lost 3 hives a few years ago to a bear. Big mess, total loss. So we put up an electric fence & started a small orchard inside. Plus added some more bees. No more problems, although the bees have been moved since then. I currently have some bees almost directly under some power lines. No problem with losing bees from those ELF waves either. They make it home every night.
Argue for your limitations and they are yours forever.