After the positive start to they year, I turned my focus on my own tasks. Never mind the bees having to do their own thing, which is surviving winter, I have a heap of tasks to complete before the new season sneaks up on me.
The first and foremost, is building my own hive to replace the one my bees are currently in. I had mentioned in one of my earliest blogs that I was lucky enough to be allowed a complete hive from the Association as a first-year beekeeper in the Association for free. However, my first year is now over and I will be expected to return all the borrowed equipment for new beekeepers to use. I still think this initiative is the best thing the Association can do to encourage new beekeepers to actually try the craft out before having to spend a small fortune on equipment.
In any case, Saturday was the designated hive-building day. With immense optimism, we had started building the pieces of the puzzle, one by one, starting with the open mesh floor. Finishing the floor was fairly simple and quick, although the varroa board still had to be reduced to even slide through and fit underneath the mesh. Just a hiccup, nothing major compared to what followed.
It was then the turn of the brood box, the heart and soul of the hive, where the party actually happens. We were ready, hammer in one hand, ruler in the other, but, for the love of nails! There were so many nails! It was a relentless nailing task! Who would have thought to build a hive you would have to first break your fingers and ears! That, we were not prepared for. To add to the drama, the wood panels were (naturally) not flat but bowed. So we had to go through all sorts of squeezing, pushing, pulling and holding together while nailing to get them to finally look like a box!
With the eagerness knocked out of us, we were both looking at the pieces of the super. Measuring the size, thinking of how many nails that would require to complete, warning bells ringing in our ears, or maybe it was just ringing…
In any case, we had to stop to save our ears and because we had ran out of time. My hive is now half finished with only the roof missing to making it complete. That will have to wait though, until my ears have recovered. Part II is imminent and I cannot wait for the hive to finally be complete.