Friday, March 16, 2012

Construction and Education

It has been a busy winter as I ramp up to prepare for my new arrivals on April 18th!  I have continued to build the components to my second hive and I am almost finished.  I have completed the construction of a deep and two medium hive bodies,
Boxes Galore
forty deep frames (wired with the help of a wiring spool setup that I cobbled together)

Wiring Spool
as well as a screened bottom board and a top cover.

Screened Bottom Board

Top Cover

I still need to construct an inner cover, another medium hive body and forty medium frames.  Once that is finished, let the painting begin!

With the winter so unusually mild for Michigan and today's temperatures in the 70's it seems as though I should have started the bees about a week ago!  I still have to wait for an entire month yet!  Grrrrrr........  In the mean time, I have begun to get involved with the wider beekeeping community.  My wife and I attended our first meeting of the Saginaw Beekeepers Association ( on March 6th.  It was good to get in touch with other beekeepers from our area and to hear of how well most of the bees have overwintered.  One of the members gave a talk on drone laying queens and also brought in a frame that had American Foulbrood on it so we could all smell it.  I would almost compare the smell to wet dog but it was very distinct and I hope I don't smell it again!  After the meeting was over we also had the chance to meet a number of other beekeepers that lived only a mile or so from us.  I guess we aren't the only ones after all!  I'm sure all the members there will be a great resource in the future.  My wife is a social butterfly and she easily connected with a lot of the people there.  Another benefit of the meeting is that I think my wife now has been "bitten by the bug" and she is excited to become involved in beekeeping with me!  Bonus!

When it rains, it pours you know, so of course the Michigan Beekeepers Association's ( Spring Conference was on the Saturday of the same week.  My friend Keith and I had attended last year and we went again this year.  The opening talk by Dr. Jim Tew ( was about laying workers, how to identify and deal with that situation.  He is an excellent speaker and his presentation was very interesting as well as funny. 

Vendor Area

The break out sessions we attended were on Top Bar Beekeeping, Beekeeping and Insurance, and the final class was on Pests and Disease.  All in all a very worthwhile trip and to top it all off, my friend Keith (who hadn't really planned on being a beekeeper anytime soon) won a door prize.........a package of bees!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH! 

We have a winner!
I'm still laughing at the whole thing  =)