Welcome and thank you for checking out my blog. This being the first post to my blog I guess I should bring things up to date.
Natural beekeeping had some serious hurdles to jump in our area last year. While I did manipulate my first year hives most unnaturally (split them to death perhaps) the year was terrible for most of the locals. The bees couldn’t gather enough stores and even the feeder folks failed to keep their bees going. As nature would have it, only the strong survive.
The season started this spring with 1 survivor colony from the previous season cutout in a Kenya top bar hive (KTBH). One colony died in February and the other three starved by November. With a total of five KTBHs that left me with four empties this spring. In hopes of capturing a new swarm or two we put up three bait hives in the area; all mini KTBHs in trees.
Our 5 Kenya Top Bar Hives
After giving a free seminar on beginning beekeeping, an attendee called and gave me the number of a couple with two Langstroth hives for sale. The hives were survivor bees that had gone untreated for three years and in a complete state of disrepair. There was a bonus hive with two mediums next to the larger hives with a cover and they contained a colony as well. The next day and a roll of duck tape later they were home safe. One of the Langs swarmed into a low pine tree and we put them in a KTBH… now there are two KTBHs working.
The next step was to feverishly put together three new Langstroth hives to move the bees into. My son shot some tremendous video during the transfer, but it is in a format that I can’t use. Anyway the Lang bees are all in their new homes.
Three new homes for our bees
Haze Gray - Langstroth - Perone Hybrid
Once we were all settled in with our now five hives we found a colony had moved into one of the bait hives. We left it in the tree for a week and then on top of their new KTBH for another week…now we are at three KTBHs and three Langs.
Bait Hive 3
We had a second swarm checking out a bait hive but it left. I think they found the bait hive a little small. The landowner called and told me there was another batch of bees back in the box. They have been there a week now and I’ll leave them another week before I bring them home. So I guess we are at six and a half right now. We are up to date.
To see the videos on how to build a Kenya top bar hive or bait hive go to my hives page.