It finally happened, we are totally caught up on our beekeeping progress with our website!
Today we did an inspection on both hives and instead of snapping a bunch of photos we decided to make a video of the experience.
We’ve split the video into two parts, the first of our Lexington hive, and the second our Concord hive. The Lexington hive is looking very strong with lots of comb filled with capped brood, larva, eggs, nectar, pollen, and even some honey! Our Concord hive is the weaker of the two but still relatively well off with a decent amount of capped brood, larva, eggs, nectar, pollen, and some honey.
Please enjoy these videos as we do talk a lot more in the video about the inspection process and more about the details of our two hives. We’d love to know what you think of our hive inspection and if you have any questions feel free to post them here!
Martha and I would like to share with you our experience building our own Barrel Top Bar Hives (TBH). This is not meant to be a step-by-step tutorial, but rather a general overview of the steps we took and lessons learned during the process,. There are plenty of excellent step-by-step tutorials out on the internet you can follow if you need that level of help. You’re also welcome to post questions here and we’ll happily answer them to assist you in your process!
Original 55-Gallon Barrel
The largest component in a barrel TBH is obviously the barrel. Lots of people from what we read online said they had cheap to free access to 55-gallon food grade barrels but we had to buy ours. If you live in the Northern Virginia area we highly recommend NOVA Barrel. They have a great selection of barrels and very reasonable prices. We were able to get a food grade 55-gallon barrel from NOVA Barrel for just $35. One thing that was really nice about the model they had was the top rim completely snapped off when we were cutting the barrel in half which provided a flatter surface and eliminated the need to cut the rim off (a step shown in the earlier referenced tutorial).
You may recall that we decided on Top Bar Hives for our homestead, but beyond the general category of hives we still had to pick an actual design and find or create some plans. Some of the options were all wood top bar hives that look like miniature Noah’s Arks. Others are designed to be built from scrap material available in 3rd world countries and/or areas affected by disaster. Continue reading
Martha and I were talking one day about ways we can become more self-sufficient and got to thinking about bees. We knew very little about bee keeping initially (and are still by no means experts), but what we did know that bees help pollinate plants (so good for our garden), they produce honey (a tasty treat), and that they are facing some serious problems which are still haunting apiarists and scientific researchers. Not to mention they are a renewable resource that, given the right conditions, can pretty much sustain themselves and still provide useful resources for their keepers!
This series we are starting is our way of giving back to the community that we have benefited from along our journey of becoming beekeepers. We hope to share our experiences, insights, and gained wisdom in hopes that others can benefit from our work and become more prepared in their own homestead!