Friday, March 8, 2013
Ready for Bees...
Just between you and I, we are actually pretty proud of our top-bar bee hive. We built it from both new and reclaimed materials and it cost us around $40 to build. This is in contrast to the $250-$300+ priced ones we were looking at before we looked at each other and said, "Sheesh, we can build a box for a lot cheaper than that!" Sure, it doesn't have fancy scrolls, or custom-made legs--we figured a couple milk crates might work just fine for the time being. The very top (painted the sassy purple) is actually a recycled protest sign; I painted over the revolutionary-inspired words with purple spray paint. The box itself is painted with a lime-ish yellow paint--we probably spent as much on that paint as we did the lumber for the box--we got a little carried away in the paint aisle!
We were advised to let it "off-gas" after building it, which as far as we could tell, is just a fancy name for letting the paint dry and the box age and air before the bees move in. In cooking terms, we needed to let it cool. About a week ago, we moved it from it's creation home in the gayrage to it's new home in a sunny, south-facing corner of our backyard--in front of the fig tree. We also put up a new bamboo fence along our side of the open-slatted fence our neighbors have up. We decided that the less they see our future bees buzzing in and out of their hive, the better for our continuing neighbor relations!
So far, the current "farm" creatures are finding it temporarily useful. The chickens can hide under it when it rains and the cats find the purple top heats up nicely in the sun--making an excellent napping spot. We've been warning them to enjoy it while they can, as hopefully soon it will be a-buzz with busy bee comings and goings!