|One of MANY Sicilians very annoyed at me - notice how she's|
Despite their annoyance, I'm quite happy about both hives and their progress this year. Unfortunately, John wasn't able to make the inspection and he missed out. The Sicilians' population is booming and they are finding plenty of nectar. The first Italians likewise are doing well. I did discover that we were overly optimistic putting the supers on. While several girls were exploring them, they had not yet built any new comb on them. The first Italians had smartly focused on the frame that I had broken at the end of last year and had about half of it rebuilt.
|My version of the Top Bar Hive|
To get the same amount of honey as from a Langstroth we'll need to visit the hives more often to harvest, but the advantages more than make up for it. I already mentioned the lesser initial cost, but the maintenance costs will also be much lower. The frame consisits of one bar and a strip of something on the bottom for the bees to build comb on. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do this but I have a good idea for it. It's quite a bit cheaper replacing a 15" piece of 1x2 than it is replacing all four pieces of custom cut Langstroth frame. All of the cuts I need to do and assembly are easy enough for someone with the same basic carpentry skills as me - and that ain't a whole bunch! Also, since the hives are smaller, moving them will be easier and less strain to the back. Plus they can last years and years with minimal maintenance, unlike the Langstroth which might last 5 years without major renovation.
Consider this low cost, easy way to start a new hobby that will benefit you with the fun (minus the stings!)and the honey as well as benefit your garden or the world in general!