Monday, 28 September 2015

To Please My Bees

Each year I like to try something a little different to please my honey bees. My current effort towards this end is with a new piece of equipment called a "slatted bottom rack". I've made four of them, one for each of my hives.

This woodenware fits on top of the bottom board and just under the brood chamber. Many beekeepers claim this item allows extra room for bees to hang out in during hot weather instead of 'bearding' on the outside of the hive. It also helps darken the lower section of the brood chamber and allows the queen to build the brood lower in the frames, now away from the drafty entrance. Additionally, the extra space under the slats provides an air buffer zone so the bees can better regulate the temperature inside the hive. It should help the hive stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Perhaps the bees will be less inclined to swarm with the luxury of this added 'vestibule' space.

Personally, I prefer my living quarters to have a little buffer from the outside world. And a porch/hallway/lobby makes sense. Only time will tell if my honey bees agree.

 
Left to Right: July, August and September honey harvests.
Colour and flavour changes with the flowers in season.



Honey bees lap up honey from their broken ladder comb.



This "V" design will not be repeated in next year's foundationless frames.



One of the slatted bottom racks I installed in my bee hives this week.


Honey bees on licorice mint blooms. I think they look pleased.



8 comments:

  1. I thought of slatted bottom racks for the hot weather here...but wax moths are a problem as well as big red ants...I think it would give them too much open space to defend. Your girls look like they love those blooms.

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    1. That is exactly why I haven't tried them before myself, Carol. We do get wax moths here as well as marauding wasps in the fall. If I run into defence issues with these slatted bottom racks, I'll drop them like hot potatoes. Only time well tell if they work in my area and prove themselves of benefit.

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  2. This is fascinating! I did you a shout-out today. Beth Girdler has created a Facebook page. I suggested she do a blog, but chose FB.

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    1. I saw and very much appreciated your shout-out, Jennifer. Couldn't get your "Eviction Notice" link to work though. Had a good gander at the bee related pics on Beth Girdler's Face Book page. Admired them all. Thank you for pointing it out. Cheers! I notice quite a time lag -- sometimes days -- between posts arriving in my email.

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  3. I love your bee posts. I'd love to have chickens, but hubby's allergic to eggs. Veggies have been beyond me, with Fred Groundhog ripping out the plants. I'm not sure about bees... Perhaps I'll just enjoy you and yours!

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    1. Funny enough, I also considered having chickens and I love fresh eggs. Just don't like the odour of chicken muck and the task of keeping them warm and clean in the winter months. That's one of the advantages of beekeeping -- they feed themselves (and you) and keep themselves warm and clean!

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  4. I don't know if you were interested in this web page! Funny, I thought I'd already commented on this post?! Twice...well there you go!

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    1. Looks like a fascinating page, Jennifer. Wish I could understand the language though. Sorry about not posting your comments earlier. I guess I'll start checking my dashboard at least once a day. Off to move my outdoor woodpile to their winter shelter now. Thanks again for your comments, Jennifer. I don't get many and they really are appreciated!
      Cheers for now, Florence.

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Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm always glad to hear from you and appreciate the time you take to comment.