Archive for May, 2014

I was really excited to learn about the open source beehive project. I donated to their Indigogo crowdsourcing campaign and got the cut files for the topbar hive. I had been thinking for a while to switch my Langstroth hives to top bar hive designs because it is a more natural build process and space for the bees. But it is expensive to get all the bee equipment. I’m fortunate to have access to a CNC router and a very skilled  robot wizard at Zomadic. So I was really excited to get the cut files for a tob bar hive and build one.

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We decided to modify the cut files a little to use hardwood rather than plywood.

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We found some nice pine boards

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Loaded the wood, tested the bits on the CNC and started the cutting.

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The material that we got was narrower than what we needed so Rob created a flower connector for the front and the back boards

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 So far so good, everything fit well.

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But then we realized the flower was obstructing the top lid from coming all the way down

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Rob made a jig and a cut so the top could fit the flower connector

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And it worked perfectly!

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I primed it and painted it

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And it was a good thing that I had it ready to go because we had a swarm on Sunday at the Algarden.

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Giancarlo captured the swarm and put it into our emergency swarm box

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Just one day and they had already built lots of comb

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They are so amazingly perfect and precise with their hexagonal comb building

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I wanted to give them some comb to have a base to start from. Giancarlo helped me transform some traditional rectangular comb by breaking the frames and cutting the wax to fit the new shape.

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And as we worked we munched on the delicious nectar that had been collected on those frames. It was super fresh nectar collected that day by the new swarm so it was very liquid-y

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I put in two wax frames and ten empty sticks for them to build new comb.

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As the hive grows I will add more sticks

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I think they like it and I’m excited to lear this new top bar method.

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Meet our new hive Mary Alice! She is named in honor of Giancarlo’s grandma and Rob’s mom.

Blessed bee!