Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Bee hive No III

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“Is it a bird?
Is is a plane?
No, it’s a bee hive!”

We set up two hives last year. One is a conventional box based stacking hive.

Hive II

Hive II is an African style trough shaped hive and then there’s a new one on the way!

The chickens are curious!

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They want to know more.

Why is it blue?

Well it’s in a new eco garden and one of the key people involved in setting it up apparently has a good memory of hives in Geeece that were this colour. Bees can’t see red but they aren’t too worried about colours.

Why is it a funny shape?

Bee hives come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, all of which have an impact on how they can be accessed.

This particular shape is a good height for smaller people to see inside and when working with each comb they can be lifted separately rather than in boxes of ten or twelve which can then weigh twenty kg when full. It makes it easier for wheel chair access too.

What kind of hive is it?

It’s a top bar hive. The name comes from the bars inside that the bees build their comb on.

How will there be bees in it? Will they just rock up and move in?

They might but we are planning to transfer some bees from hive number II. If we give them some bars from this hive they will hopefully build comb that we can transfer across. You can see the bars here.

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How do the bees get in?

There’s an entrance low down at one end with several small round holes.

can chickens eat bees?

Well, yes, they can but I’d prefer it if they didn’t! Besides which bees can sting chickens.

What do bees eat?

They eat nectar from flowers which they process into honey but they feed their babies pollen as it contains protein.

What’s he doing to the inside of the hive?

We scorched the inside of the hive to make it less new and more welcoming to the bees.

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The chickens have lost interest now. But if anyone else has any bee questions then I’m happy to answer!

We’ll keep you up to date as hive III develops.

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16 comments on “Bee hive No III

  1. wscottling
    March 8, 2014

    Nice! I didn’t know that bees can’t see red. Learn something new every day…

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 8, 2014

      They also don’t like black apparently. Bee keepers tend to wear pale jackets for that reason. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  2. luxpat
    March 8, 2014

    Coool. When can you start harvesting honey and how much do you get from a hive?

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 8, 2014

      The harvest is quite weather dependent. If there’s not enough flowers then the bee’s job will be very hard. It’s quite mild now so that helps. We would hope to harvest around mid July. In a good year there can be a second harvest in late August. Our main focus is for the welfare of the bees though honey is a bonus. A good annual yield could be more than 20kg.

      Like

      • luxpat
        March 10, 2014

        Interesting, thanks for the reply. Admire your lifestyle; I’d love to live on a farm someday, it’s such a gratifying way to live.

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 10, 2014

        I’d love to have land but for a suburban attached house we do pretty well!

        Like

  3. silverbells2012
    March 8, 2014

    Did you build the hive yourselves or did you purchase it?

    I love the blue – reminds me very much of Santorini 🙂

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 8, 2014

      This hive was purchased from a local Dutch company. But we built our second hive ourselves based on plans from the barefoot bee keeper.

      Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 8, 2014

        Okay. Am thinking about a beehive on the allotment but like all things, all in good time.

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 8, 2014

        It’s a great thing to do. There are many introductory courses. And the bees will entertain you.

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 9, 2014

        My dad used to keep bees but I think a course would be a good idea.

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 9, 2014

        There’s also some great books, blogs and other online resources.

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 9, 2014

        As a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, I can borrow books from thei library, which looks like a good place to start 🙂

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 9, 2014

        Definitely!

        Like

  4. Rambling Woods
    March 9, 2014

    I love this!!!!!!!!!!!!! My post today is about bees and the trouble they are in here in the US. I would love to have bees…Michelle

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 9, 2014

      I’ll be visiting your blog in more depth shortly. Sounds interesting. The bees are in trouble worldwide it seems.

      Like

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