Tomorrow I was planning on doing my next inspection of the hive, if the weather fairs well, but I walked around the hive today and was troubled by what I saw. My bottom board is splitting open!
I don’t know how long it has been like this since I usually do my daily observations and occasional inspections of the bees while standing on the other side of my hive which is not directly in the bee line path. I’m not exactly sure what to do to fix this, if it’s salvageable, other than to purchase another bottom board and swap it out. I imagine I will have to fix this before winter in order to help prevent moisture from getting into the hive?
Here are some blurry photos I took of what’s going on. Any suggestions on what to do here would be greatly appreciated.
Here’s the completed hive! Hopefully the flowers I painted on the supers won’t confuse the honey bees – not that the flowers are so realistic looking, but only because I heard they like geometric shapes and bright colors. I wanted to take the opportunity to make each box different AND I wanted to use lots of color because…well, why not? It was a lot of fun to personalize it!
Bee pick-up day is probably now going to be on Saturday. There are a few showers in the forecast which will help keep the bees calm for transporting; however, I know you’re not supposed to open a hive or nuc if the weather is at all chilly or windy, and especially rainy, which might make putting them in their new hive a little challenging. So far Sunday looks promising to move the frames from the nuc to the hive even if it’s the day after I get them home.
This is just one picture of how my hive is coming along. I actually finished decorating it this weekend but the photographer wants to capture it as a whole under special lighting circumstances tomorrow morning;) I used my acrylic Liquitex paints. The colors will dull over time with exposure to UV rays, but I think that’s ok. I had looked into matte medium varnish to protect from UV but it’s probably better the less chemically types of things I put on the hive. One more picture to come hopefully tomorrow so you can see what it looks like before I put my bees into it.
Besides decorating the hive, I’m doing some last minute preparations this week. Went out and bought a mason jar today for my boardman feeder. This is a hive entrance feeder that I will put my simple syrup in to feed the bees and help get them acclimated into their new home. It’s a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar (just plain sugar). I wasn’t really sure where to buy a mason jar from, searching online Kmart kept popping up. I don’t usually shop there but they had a whole pack of them in the regular quart size for $10. I just needed one, but these are the kind of thing that won’t go to waste.
Maybe I’ll try canning this year. I’m hoping to do some tomatoes, but we haven’t planted any yet and we have some other priorities. So far we have planted arugala, kale, beets, 3 blueberry plants (one is from last year, we learned you need more than one to be able to produce anything), some sunflowers, and 2 bloomerang lilac bushes. It’s a pretty good start, but we’re aiming to do what’s called a 3 Sisters Garden too. That’s basically corn, squash, and beans. The beans climb up the corn stalks and put in nitrogen or nitrites (I forget which) to the soil that the other plants take out, and squash grows really sprawly with the leaves catching the sunlight that otherwise would block other plants from growing in the shadow of the corn stalks, so it ends up being a really good combination of plants. The squash seeds that we are getting from Seedsavers is a type of pumpkin, so if all goes well maybe we will have our very own home-grown jack-o-lanterns this year. I love urban farming!
Speaking of urban farming there’s a truly wonderful film called Urban Roots that was playing at the DIA last week. If you missed it I think you can go to the site and purchase the DVD. Maybe it will come out on netflix; I don’t know, but it’s worth seeing! It was very inspiring to me and just makes me want to get more involved in the Detroit community with their urban farms. They touch on beekeeping in Detroit a little bit as well as people who keep goats and chickens. Here’s the site for more info if you’re interested – http://www.urbanrootsamerica.com/urbanrootsamerica.com/Home.html
I’m not really one to enjoy pink, actually I tend to avoid the color, but somehow it just felt right for the home of my 10,000 girls. I used Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint. It has the low VOC that I was looking for so I don’t harm the bees. A gallon of paint was more than I needed, so if anyone needs some baby-girl pink exterior/interior paint, let me know! This weekend I will put some decorative touches on the hive to give it more personality.