I have recently discovered that ‘Linked In’ (a sane and sober version of facebook) has a group for beekeepers.  It being a rainy day, and the cricket on the wireless not demanding my full attention, I have gone into it more fully and come across within it a map on which you can enter the location of your apiaries and give information regarding the race of bee and whether honey is for sale there.  I have added only a couple of my apiaries so far and shall leave the others for another day. I have just heard that Pakistan are all out for 222 so shall now get on with something else.


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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    Does anyone have an opinion on what the best wood is for the hive box and if so, why? Wood construction I have seen offered for purchase is pine, cedar and cyress. Cost vs. pest resistance.

    Chris Slade • It depends how old you are and how long you intend to live! I have some cedar hives that are older than I am (dob 1948). It is light, insect (woodworm) resistant, won’t rot and doesn’t need painting. It isn’t woodpecker proof though. However, it is quite expensive. Nowadays I am using re-cycled (and therefore free!) pallet wood to make my own design of top bar hive. I’ve just had to re-build the first one I made, in 1998, as it was starting to rot and fall apart.

    Rosewood Therapies n Pamela Hatton • I would agree with that. Cedar is by far the best for honeybee hives, and is worth the cost in the long run.

    Elizabeth O’Brien • Hey Chris, my husband is a carpenter, and is planning on building our 2 hives, this is my first year as a beekeeper, and he’s made me tons of other cool stuff out of pallets, but I didn’t think of hives, obviously this seems appealing for me due to it so inexpensive, any tips or additional thoughts?

    Chris Slade • Treat the pallet planks before use by going over with a hot iron in one hand and a lump of beeswax in the other. Heat the wood with the iron before getting the wax onto it. This enables the pores in the wood to open very slightly to absorb the wax. Finish off with a little elbow grease. That should make the planking long-term waterproof and bee-friendly. It might be as well, when the hive has been constructed, to apply some to joints where the wood has been cut.

    If you do the household ironing, before using the iron on your best dress, turn your husband’s trousers inside out and iron down where the creases should be. If there should be any left over wax on the iron that’s the best place for it. Then, when turned the right way round you can apply the iron to the creases and they will stay in very neatly.
    Let me know if you’d like my design of top bar hive as, having tried both, I think it is much better than the commercially available model.

    Elizabeth O’Brien • Thank you for the tips, so are you saying treat both sides of the planks with beeswax? And what about painting the box, how does wax improve or interfere with this process. Clearly I am a novice so that is with all of the questions. Everyone here (Atlanta) that I have met thus far uses the commercial models vs top bar. Why do you prefer them?

    Adam Darling • Elizabeth, the problem with painting hives is that they can rot as the wood is unable to breathe. If you use the breathable paints, they are not too friendly to the environment (worse than regular paint I think. Therefore Chris’ suggestion of using beeswax as a waterproofing agent.
    Cedar is very good – and as has been posted – doesn’t need treating and will last as long as you will! Pine, if untreated, will last a few years only. I have some pine supers which are stored inside from September to April and are therefore out of the elements for the worst part of the year.
    Paints and stains may also have insect repellants (insect killers!) which is not a desireable feature for us as beekeepers!

    Dimensions are important – the bee space – My suggestion would be to buy ready-made parts first and then copy so the dimensions are correct.
    48 minutes ago • Like

    Chris Slade • Just wax the outside. The bees will do the inside with propolis and also seal any cracks. Don’t paint except to make your hive more distinctive and thus less likely to be stolen. I applied a few strokes of propolis with a hot iron to the entrance end of the TBH I made most recently to create a smiling face, with the bees flying in and out of the mouth.

    The stacking box type of hive is great if you’re into weight lifting and don’t mind developing Beekeeper’s Back and are well protected against stings. The advantages of the TBH are that everything is at waist level and you lift only one comb at a time and that, because you don’t have to rip their world apart every time you open the hive as you do with the conventional system, the bees are so much better tempered. You can examine the complete hive without smoke, gloves or stings as they hardly know you’re there.

    The disadvantages of the TBH are thet they are not as portable or as productive of honey as the conventional type.

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