It has now been six months since I built my first Top Bar Hive for Honey Bees and, apart from a few dozen stings ( I thought the bees were sympatico, which wasn’t quite the case!), a lot of cursing and an amount of learning on my part, has been an enjoyable period.
The image above is of my first Top Bar hive (TBH), a little scruffy I’ll confess, but the bees seem to like it because they are busy gathering Pollen and Nectar from all over the neighbourhood. The variety in the types of Pollen they are gathering is outstanding! The colours range from almost pure white to a deep, glowing orange colour, almost red!
Since then the hive has been renovated somewhat, I have added a second storey and completely replaced the roof and, if I may say so myself, it looks quite grand!
I have included an acrylic window ( under the removable cover in the image) so that I, and my Grandchildren, can watch and observe the bees doing what it is that bees do!
I did this because I feared that they (the bees) were getting a little crowded in their original home and that was something that astounded me! You see they were just a wild swarm, gathered by an intrepid apiarist named Ian Weeks when I sent out an appeal for bees.
Yeah, I’m one of the dumb ones. Originally I had purchased a ‘nuc’ (nucleus swarm) from an established apiarist in the area but they decided to leave home. I’m still not sure why but I did find a large amount of Wax Moth larvae in the empty hive afterwards. I cleaned the hive out thoroughly and then sent an appeal via Facebook for some new bees. Ian came to my rescue!
I am learning a lot, though slowly! I’m one of those who tends to go off like a bull at a gate, only to find that someone has slammed the gate shut just as I arrive! The tale my father used to tell comes to mind.
“There were two bulls walking a ridge, one older fellow and one (obviously) younger and they were just passing the time of day when they came across a valley filled with heifers. The young bull turned to the older and said ‘Why don’t we race down there and have our evil way with a few of those lovely young cows?’ ‘No’ said the old bull, ‘what we’ll do is walk down there and have our evil way with all of them!’
I am learning, rather late in life perhaps, that being patient and considering the possibilities, pays in the long run.