Monday, April 20, 2009

Making Hives - Part 1

I checked the Backwards Beekeeper blog and got the name of a local beekeeper supply, L.A. Honey Co, 1559 Fishburn Ave, LA 90063, (323) 264-2383, located just east of downtown off the I-10. (Use a GPS or a good map for your first visit. It is easy to find after the first trip which can be strange.)

Hive boxes, supers, come in several sizes. Tricia had recommended I stick to the medium super for all parts so I did not end up with different size f
rames. A full standard hive with 10 frames weighs about 80 pounds when full of honey. A medium with 10 frames weighs about 60# and with 8 frames about 48#. Being a certified Senior Citizen, the medium super sounded like the size for me. LA Honey sells medium supers with 10 frames which I can handle.

They are happy to sell you the full
y finished super complete with foundation wax and all you have to do is set it out and add bees. They will answer any of your questions and quickly recognize the "Kirk converts" and help you out.

Another option is to buy the parts and put them together yourself. This is a great money saver but there are no instructions. You get nails specific to each unit and all the parts but no instructions so look a the finished supers off to the side and make mental notes.

I finally got it right after a couple of trips to the store. This is how it is done by me....

This is what you come home with when you get one super, top and bottom (BK For Dummies was in the back of the truck.)

On the top is the top unit. Placing the end pieces is obvious, I will show where to put those other two straight pieces later. The second shot of of the bottom unit. Note the piece with only one lip, that will go on the front and form the bee porch. The two thin pieces will be where the super rests on the bottom. That will be very clear when it is done.

Here you have a pile of 10 frames after the string is removed. Next are the parts for single frame.
LA Honey is very good about supplying all the proper nail sizes you need for different pieces. You will probably end up with some extras, save them. You will end up with some crooked nails that need replacing.
In Part 2 I will put the pieces together but it is 100 deg outside and I am staying in here until later.
Most of the construction is common sense so feel free to ignore anything I have said, especially since I am still waiting for bees.

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