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New York City legalizes beekeeping.
At a recent beekeepers association meeting I took this shot of an old fashioned hive made from a hollow log. These are called Bee Gums, named after the gum trees often used to make them. When bees were kept this way the whole colony was sometimes destroyed to harvest the honey. This style of hive may benefit the bees by most closely resembling the bees natural home. Since honeybees evolved to largely live in hollowed out trees, Deep Ecology 1 departs from the commonly used wider Langstroth hive dimensions and emulates the size of cavity found in hollow trees.
One of my conventional hives was one frame short so, the bees filled the void with natural comb. When given the option to build their honeycomb on plastic foundation or in open space the bees will avoid the manmade foundation. Assuming they know best I will build my frames without foundation.
Once I pulled the comb pieces out as carefully as I could, I tied them to a frame and put them back in the hive. Notice in the pictures above the bees are drinking up the honey from the torn cells.
Just found this great site today.
PBS made a great documentary titled, “Silence of the Bees,” which aired on Nature. You can watch the full episode at that link, and I strongly recommend it. So much information is compiled into such a watchable special.
Yesterday I was very happy to find that the bees approved of my test frame. Three weeks after inserting the frame in one of my hives I checked in on it to find that the bees had completely filled it with an impressive slab of capped brood cells. I can now focus my attention on other design challenges, such as…how to keep the hive cool in the summer. (Corian soaks up more heat when left out in the sun that wood does.) I think I will build a double wall construction hive body. The insulating air gap should keep the heat from the sun off the colony while the top entrance allows the hotter air inside the hive to circulate out.
I’ve just spent a lot of time scanning through Royden Brown’s book Bee Hive Product Bible. The author was clearly seduced by the magic of the honeybee and set out on a personal odyssey to discover everything he could about the products of the hive. He’s evangelical on their health benefits and it makes for mesmerizing reading. I’m not sure if it is still in print but you can still get copies (new or used) on Amazon.