Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My First Outyard

Yesterday, I moved my first hives away from the home yard.  Here's what the yard looked like mid-move.

I started by designing and building a pallet to hold my hives.  I used the design of my bottom boards and my ten frame deep nucs as a center piece.

The result is a very sturdy and strong pallet of which two fit in the back of my pickup.

And here's the result in the field. 

The hives went to my church's farm, called "The Farm" which provides food to subscription holders and those subscriptions also pay for food for the economically disadvantaged.  So, I'm essentially treating it like a free pollination job.

I've discovered that the flat dark green paint I used to paint those boxes makes the hives way too hot, so I've begun switching them out.  While this is probably only a problem this time of year when it has been over 105 just about every day at my home for the past two weeks, I don't want to put the bees at a big disadvantage.

To Do:  Need to repaint the green hives. 

Thinking about making a slow switch to medium boxes.  I have 68 deeps which is the equivalent of approximately 100 mediums.  If I start selling nucs, it will be easy to sell anything away, and replace deeps with mediums in the process.  I don't need to get rid of the boxes, they can be trimmed, but it is a little harder to trim the frames, especially those with good comb still in them.  I think it can be done pretty well in a progressive fashion, as I sell 5-frame nucs.  All I need to do is sell two nucs, trim one box, buy eleven new frames.  Eventually I'll have nothing but mediums left.  But that means I'll have to sell about 130 nucs.  Could take a few years.

Also, learning about how to do combs.  As I now trim all new end bars to 1 1/4", I can fit eleven frames to a box.  So I do that for three deeps or five mediums, then above that place nine frames to a box for honey storage.  I'm also probably going to switch to Michael Bush's frame system where he uses mostly PF-120's and the rest foundationless.  The only difference is, I trim the endbars, which was his idea, but with is volume he hasn't taken the time to do it on all the plastic frames.

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