I have spend some time today creating a hive out of a transparent plastic crate bought for the purpose.
I managed to get a few random splodges of smelly wax, tempting to the bees, onto the rough side of a rectangle of hardboard which I then rivetted to the ‘bottom’ of the crate which, inverted, forms the roof. The hardboard is at one end and its purpose is to give the bees a good grip and an easy start. When they get towards the back of the hive I hope to be able to see the comb they build, including attachment to the roof.
This will be under the hardboard and (if the bees do as I intend) will be the main brood area and from which Varroa mites will drop. I expect that the bees will use it as a dustbin area as this is what they appear to do with a top bar hive on Portland where the small mesh area isn’t near the brood and yet gets a quota of mites.
I drilled a hole about 2″ in diameter at one end to form an entrance and fitted a short length of corrugated plastic pipe. I intend to drill a corresponding hole in the back wall of my allotment shed to take the other end of the pipe.
Next job is to make a plinth to raise the hive a few inches above the bench (a horizontal door rescued from a skip) to allow for ventillation and for a tray to collect debris for examination. Then I can take it up to the allotment to install it.
I have been taking photos at every stage and would post them here if I knew how. Can anybody tell me please? Thanks, Trish, for telling me!