Following on from the July visit to Gareth’s apiary, has anyone modified their hives?
There are 3 stages:
- add some legs
- move the entrance up above the lower box
- add some extra insulation
The legs are just over 50 cm long; compound cut at 15 degrees. The trestle base is some pieces of decking glued and dowelled together. The bottom of each leg is 10 cm out from the base in both directions. The entrance has been raised from 20 cm up to 54 cm.
The entrance is now a chamfered slot on the bottom of an additional box. This box is about half the height of a standard warre box. It has no top bars but adds more depth to the upper box. As the bees were already resident, this box is not attached to the one above. But it does have handles so that they can be lifted together.
Insulation – still looking at permeable roofing felt but thinking a wooden solution is the right way to go.
This arrangement has been in place for a few weeks and seems to be working. Although the bees all ‘know’ where the entrance is some still land on the landing board and crawl up.
One installation problem – in lifting the upper box to add the mezzanine some of the top bars in the lower box came away too. Lots of propolis! These were removed but this must have also loosened some comb. On checking next day the piece was seen lying in the bottom of the lower box covered in bees- oh dear!! It was left there for a week or so by which time the bees had removed all the honey and moved it back upstairs. New clean white comb has been built in the top box.
Happy to help with the woodwork; probably best if you lift your own boxes …