Monday, August 27, 2012

Bee Home - Cheap Rent

Opportunities come and go.  Some, if we react quickly enough, we can capitalize on and expand our awareness, knowledge, personal growth, or our perception of the abundance of this beautiful planet.  Others, as has recently happened on my MooseBoots meanderings, we miss the fleeting chance.  These are not lost.  Perhaps, they are simply preparing us for the next.

A month or so ago, I posted that a friend had found a swarm and I walked him through collecting it and putting it into a hive.  At that point, I had never actually seen a swarm in real life and I had never built a hive on my own.  Well, the same friend sent me a message a bit over a week ago ... it was a picture of another swarm at his house.  This time, I sprang into action to build a hive.  Maybe, I should have built one sooner, but ....

I have had several old cedar fence sections in the backyard for a couple of years.  They were given to us by someone who had replaced it.  Some of the sections have been made into stages for dancing and such, while others stood by waiting.  These, I decided, would be perfect for making a top bar hive.  I flipped through my copy of The Barefoot Beekeeper to see if there was a build your own hive section.  I then turned to Phil Chandler's website where you may download his top bar hive plans.  The clamps to glue the boards together were my own quick design.

I am not the fastest builder in the world, and it took several days to get the hive to a point where I could put bees into it.  At that point, the bees were already gone and settled into their new home in some other,  undisclosed location.  Undeterred, I continued building to finish the hive.

In the spring my hive will likely swarm and I will need a new home for them anyway.  I made a few mistakes along the way, but it is complete, costing a mere $25 for the lumber to make the bars and the screen for the bottom of the hive.  All of the rest of the components were fashioned out of old fence sections.  It still needs a coat of paint and some minor tweaks, but ... viola!

Unfortunately, I was not prepared for this swarm, but I will be ready for the next.  And so, I continue to tread down this MooseBoots path in awe of the gifts the Universe gives, especially when I don't know what they are for when given.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Caught In The Act ... Foraging

We've been making a concerted effort to get out and enjoy Nature's bounty. It is an unexpected education at times.