Bee Beard Log Hive Gets a New Hat
April 24, 2016 by solarbeez
April 23…Bee Beard’s new look, complete with peacock feathers. My wife says he looks like he’s yodeling. I say the hat is ‘functional.’ and I’ll get used to it, but no one can call us “mainstream.”
I know this isn’t a lovely hackle like Johnathon Powell’s log hive ‘thatch roof’ covering. but the hive had to be fixed before attracting a swarm and this is swarm season. My wife suggested this stylish lid probably because she knew it would take me a long time to figure out a wooden solution. A ‘long time’ means Pat’s not contributing to the gardening effort.:)
The top of the hive has to vent the air through the quilt box without letting in any rainwater. How did the rainwater get in? See below.
This is the underneath. That crack can leak all the way through, letting the El Niño rainwater into the top of the hive.
I took the hive apart, cleaned out all the comb, and torched every square inch (and centimeter).
I cleaned out the base of the hive too, of old soggy sawdust and little critters like ants and even earthworms. I replaced it with new sawdust and even some mint for the mites.
Earthworms? How did they get through the screen mesh on the bottom.
I melted some old comb and stuck it back on the very torched top bars. A muslin cloth will cover the bars, then the quilt box goes on top.
A new quilt box goes in. It fits perfectly…after the third time I reconfigured it. Hey, I’m not a that good of a wood worker, but I try, try again.
This is the key to the whole thing. Let the hive breathe, but don’t let the yellow jackets in. I drilled some holes in the top and screened them over.
The observation window is cleaned up and fitted back in. It’ll be covered with a wooden plug. I like to see the bees comb building progress.
Then the hat goes on. Believe it or not, we had to get just the right one. This one lets the air come through under the hat, but keeps the rain out. My wife says, “Something is still missing.” We find a store that sells peacock feathers.
Perfect!!! Ready for immediate occupancy…