Monday, December 22, 2014

SELECTING A BEEHIVE


WE HAVE HIVES!

No, not hives like you get on your body, hives for bees!  

EMPTY of course, but we have them!  For those who were guessing yesterday, I guess it was kind of obvious huh?  Although no bees yet, they come in the Spring, next April to be exact.  But we have to get everything else in place and ready so that they can be put into the hives and then start doing their thing!

After much research, and a few aesthetic considerations, we chose the English Garden Hive style.  They were delivered Saturday.

Brushy Mountain English Hive
Unboxing them was fun.  While they may look unassembled, the components are already built, you just have to place them together.  You can opt, for a lesser price of course, to actually build each piece yourself but since it would fall on me to do, "I" opted for easier.

8 Frame Medium Super
We chose 8 frame hives due to the weight of 10 frame hives when they are full. And these have medium supers which are also more manageable than deeps.  The bottom one will be the brood box and the top one will be the honey super.  

We'll explain all of these terms in a future post.  

Copper Roof of English Garden Hive
These are called English Garden hives because of the roofs.  They are peaked instead of flat and of course, covered in copper.  They are just gorgeous.  They are still 100% standard Langstroth hives, only the roof is different.

They can be left to weather but with that comes the chance the wood will eventually degrade, especially in our heat and humidity.  They can be stained/sealed or painted.  We have chosen paint.

Unpainted English Garden Hive, image courtesy of Southernliving.com
And you know how I've always blogged about different colors.  The more research I did, I learned that a downside for that is that your boxes, as you add and expand upwards and even to future hives, won't be as interchangeable (unless you like the patchwork look).  I also learned that white is the best color to keep them cool in the heat of Summer and if it's one thing we have down this direction is HOT Summers...

White English Garden Hives, image courtesy of wikicommons.com
So this (of course these have galvanized roofs) is what why will look like once painted and put in place.  These are in fact actual UK hives.  We like this white look, it's much cleaner and with the copper roof, they should be a beautiful, yet functional addition to the farm property.  


We ordered our hives from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm.  Nothing in return for mentioning them (unfortunately!) just wanted to make sure that we made a note of where they came from in case anyone ever wanted to order their own.  

Please know that getting into beekeeping is not cheap, as we have found.  What we have also found is that most of the expenses seem to be mostly one time 'initial' expenses.  Hives, if we want to expand from here, we can expand UP with more supers but once you have the hives you have them (we are going to order additional hives next year, if this all goes well).  The tools are one time purchases.  Then you order a smoker and a beekeepers suit and those too are one time expenses.  Lastly, you order the bees and, in theory at least, those are one time purchases as well.

Time will tell but for now, we have the hives and some more things are coming in, we have the bees paid in full and on order for delivery next Spring...now we just have to paint them, get them in place and get everything else ready!

Then the beekeeping / honey production can begin!



33 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

this is very exciting. i can't wait to follow your progress!

Cottage Tails said...

yes very exciting me too will enjoy reading about your bee farming journey

Galestorm said...

If you get lots of honey, I would love to buy a jar!!! Love honey. Unfortunately, the last jar of local honey I bought was not very good. I'm wondering what the bees are feeding on! According to the news we need all the bees we can get. I do hope there are no GMO crops close to your farm.

Joani said...

Looking good. One also has to remember that you will have to buy wax to fill the frames each year and something to extract the honey with and jars or cans to put the honey in, continued costs. Am excited for you in this endeavor and am glad that you are going to leave the boxes white. Merry Christmas!

Tewshooz said...

How exciting! Those hives are just beautiful, too. I love the copper and shape of the roofs. I will follow your journey into beekeeping and maybe learn enough to start beekeeping, too.

Practical Parsimony said...

I am excited for you. The metal, sloping roof is aesthetically pleasing. I really want bees.

FionaG said...

The hives do look beautiful but I was thinking, if you still wanted a bit of colour on them perhaps you could paint a small pattern on them. Some interlocking bright coloured flowers perhaps. Just a thought for a compromise. I got the impression you liked the coloured boxes.

Primroses Attic said...

Good luck with your bees next year. Love your painted hives.
Sending Christmas Wishes.
Rosezeeta.

Texan said...

LOL cant believe I guessed bees LOL.. guess I forgot all I learned in bee class LOL.. they come in the spring duh LOL ... saw the bee on the box and thought oh bees LOL

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Hurry up spring!!!! Nice looking hives my friend. Can't wait to see them totally setup.

Janie Junebug said...

I'll enjoy your bee adventures. Keeping bees is not something I can bring myself to do.

Love,
Janie

Kate said...

No No No, 1st Man - you need to paint them red and white like the rest of the Little Farm!!! The boxes we identify as brood boxes we paint white, and the supers we paint red so we always know what's what. We really like the 8 frame hives - we got two. Ended up with a 10 frame "emergency" hive when we captured a swarm, and those supers are HEAVY!!! Like the 8 frame much better.

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

How exciting! The hives look so pretty. It makes me **almost**want my own hive, except that I am super allergic and very afraid of getting stung. So I will admire them from afar :)

1st Man said...

We are looking forward to it. Stay tuned!

1st Man said...

Thank you, it will all play out here, good or not so good, ha.

1st Man said...

None that we know of. Bees source upwards of about 2 miles around. We've looked around, even using google earth to look around and nothing we can see. We just might have more than we can handle and if things go well, we'll ultimately have six hives producing. That will be a LOT of honey. ;-)

1st Man said...

Yes, I should have mentioned, we have the wax sheets for all the frames this first go round. I'll have a post with more details on the steps. Haven't gotten the honey extraction part set up yet. Thank you for the well wishes and absolutely Merry Christmas!!

1st Man said...

Well thank you and yes, please follow along, trust me when I say, other than reading and attending a few classes, I'm a complete novice. I want to write my posts from that perspective so that I can perhaps help others through the process. :-)

1st Man said...

Isn't it pretty? I serves no really purpose, though many say it of course keeps water from standing on the normal flat roofs, and it does great a bit of an insulation barrier...but really, it's just pretty and who says things outside have to be blah, right? ;-)

1st Man said...

Now that's not a bad idea. I do like the colors, but after doing some research and joining some beekeeping forums online, most people say that as you expand, it just makes more sense to have everything a uniform color. But a pattern that didn't matter if you broke it up in the future is a good idea. Thank you!!

1st Man said...

Thanks and warm wishes to you too!

1st Man said...

It's ok, I did just have the post about ordering them so it was a fair guess. :-)

1st Man said...

You and me both! though you probably a bit more right now, ha. Yep, working on the spot for them and then have to paint them and set them up.

1st Man said...

I have friend who say the same thing and didn't think I'd do it either. But I'm willing to try and see how it goes. Stay tuned for more details! :-)

1st Man said...

OOOH! You are a clever lady. I like that idea. Hmm....thank you for the suggestion. Everything I've read talked about 8 frame sort of being the new standard, especially for new beekeepers. I like things to be more manageable, ha. Thanks again!!!

1st Man said...

You can admire them all you want. They won't sting from this distance, LOL! They are pretty and while you should never make your decision based on only that...it doesn't hurt for them to look good too, right?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never seen such a pretty beehive. I would totally pick those too. And I like the idea of all white. Enjoy your blog and can't wait to see how the bee journey goes. Vicki

1st Man said...

Well welcome, first of all, and thanks! Things can be pretty in the garden, nothing wrong with that. Thanks for the kind words!

Rose ~ from Oz said...

You are going to LOVE bee keeping!! Had a dozen or so hives on our farm in Tasmania - fabulous honey there. And had two hives in suburbia here in the tropics of Australia many years ago and the native botanic gardens across the road was their path flight for collecting and it was the BEST honey I've ever had in my life! You will fall in love with your bees, so be warned!!
Christmas blessing to you and yours
Rose.

Midnite Baker said...

Your hives will look gorgeous after they get painted and will blend with your house beautifully. Have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both. M

1st Man said...

Thank you for that encouragement. I'm so excited to start. Nervous but still excited. A dozen hives? Wow you must have had a ton of honey. We'll have six at the most, or so I think, ha. Thanks for the warning, that's a good warning to have. All our best to you!

1st Man said...

Yep, I sure hope. I think white will be great and as someone suggested above, I think some red accents would be awesome. Of course I may paint them white and the look at them and just love them the way they are, ha. We'll see what happens. Best wishes to you and yours!!

Texas Rose said...

I love the design of your beehives - just gorgeous! They are going to look great at your Farm! Looking forward to reading all about your sweet adventures!