We were very excited when our beehive finally arrived – about a year after we had decided to go in jointly on a beehive. We were very excited to build it and decided to work on it together as a group. Amazingly, it wasn’t long before we found a time that all three families could get together to build the beehive.
Jon is our master builder, so he got out the tools and parts needed to build the hive. Elise, Randi and I scoped out a place to put the hive. We decided the best place to put it would be where I currently had two compost bins, so they helped me spread the ready compost on the garden and move the rest to a new location.
With seven children in the yard, ranging in age from 15 months to 11 years old, Joe and Jeff kept an eye on the kids.
Once Jon had things pretty well organized, he had the children help him, holding parts, putting in screws and applying glue. The project wasn’t hard, but it was very important that all the parts were put together squarely so that everything would fit exactly right. Randi explained to us that it’s important that the beehive is level and square so that the bees will build the honeycomb square, which will allow you to take it in and out of the hive easily.
While only the bottom, or brood box, goes on now, we built both the bottom and top box. We learned that bees use the bottom one or two boxes to lay their eggs and raise their young and the top box is used to store honey for the winter. Beekeepers keep the queen, and therefore the eggs, out of the top box using a “queen excluder.” The queen and drones are quite a bit larger than the worker bees, so they can’t get through the separator, while the other bees can. We will need to install the queen and worker bees we buy in the lower box and give them several weeks to a month to get established before we can put our flow hive on top!
It was a fun afternoon and gave the families a chance to get to know each other better as well.
Next step, install the bees!