Week 3 – Where & Manipulation
- Where to put the hive:
- It needs to be a semi permanent place as if it needs moving it can move less that 3ft or more than 3 miles. If it is moved more than 3ft then there is a risk that they won’t find the hive. You can move the greater distance but gradually with 3ft intervals.
- Weight – 30lb initially but will end up being 150lb.
- Base- Stable base that won’t sink into the ground. Ideal is paving slab. Height so that the top of the brood box is the same height as clenched fist when standing up straight. Pallets, milk crates. Advisable to have base for 2 hives so use the space to put brood boxes/supers down when working on the hive. You will work on the hive from the back. The front needs to point in the direction of where you want the bees to fly out to forage. Pointing East is ideal
- Needs to be bright and light – queen start to play earlier in the season.
- Need to have access from a wheelbarrow.
- In an area where food is available – variety of types of flowers,
- Water source – ditch, dirty stagnant puddles
- Don’t point front of hive in direct of where lots of people will be. Bees needs to get above people. Screen – around sides and front – 3ft away – can help them fly up.
- Wind direction – so now blow into the hive.
- Avoid frost pockets (bottom of hills near trees).
- Not underneath trees – tree roots will be under hive so roots will move the hive slightly and bees end up using more propolis. Also tress will drip on the hive.
- Not under high voltage electric cables – bees will pick up electric signals/field and makes them angry. They can pick up underground cables as well. Need a distance of 100 yards. Phone cables – not idea but not as bad.
- Animals – very few attack hives. Badges are the only possibility. Deer – will rub their horns on the hive. Chickens – not running around the hive as will peck at the hive and the bees. Most home pets are not an issue.
- Flooding – avoid such areas as bees die during floods.
- Footpaths – you have a duty not the cause a nuisance.
- Distance from home – 10ft is the closest but point away from the house.
- Mowing lawn – likely to attract bees but wear veil if mowing close (less than 10ft)
- Wind – need different orientation of hives if have several in a row. Wind will cause a little bit of drifting and may cause bees to go to a different hive.
- Frames direction – front to back is the cold way. side to side is the warm way. Doesn’t matter – just whatever is more comfortable.
- In windy conditions – put a risk or stone on top.
- Best to do on warm calm day – not on a windy and cold day
- Put veil on after smoker lit.
- Have more than one way to light a smoker.
- keep puffing smoker so they don’t get out. Puff smoke in entrance and wait.
- At The Hive Entrance book – useful and free to download.
- Roof off – if bees are coming through the hole on crownboard then smoke them.
- Put smoke in super .
- Once super off – drift smoke across queen excluder. Take off excluder – check queen not in it, Do this over the brood camber. Place excluder leaning against the hive front. If bees coming out of brood box then drift smoke over.
- Look for – queen, eggs, swarming (queen cells) enough store of honey and pollen, enough space in brood box for laying eggs and nectar, disease. Look on both sides of frames. Must put frames exactly the same way and order. Keep a hive record of what seen.
Installing a Nuc