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!