It’s finally happened! I got the lumber for my Top Bar Hive. It’s all cut and the followers are glued…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Steve and I have been talking about bees for several months. Last year we added chickens to our family, and they have been such fun that we have decided to add the bees. I have read and read and read about bees, and one of the things I learned about is these Top Bar Hives. They really appeal to me because it’s a low maintenance beekeeping method, and it’s more focused on the bees than honey production. Not that I don’t want lots of lovely honey, but I’d rather not work too hard for it (of course, no matter what method I choose, the bees will be doing the HARD work!).
http://beeanonymous.blogspot.com/ This is the blog that convinced me that top bar hives are the way to go. Lots of other reading was done, but this fellow was so warm and reassuring when he answered one of my e-mails that I decided I want to do whatever he’s doing.
After a detour to check out a couple of garage sales, we got home from our weigh in this morning and found the tree next to the driveway buzzing! Well, okay, it wasn’t actually the tree that was buzzing… it was all the bees taking pollen from the catkins. So I took that as on omen that it was time to stop thinking and dreaming about my hive and actually go get the stuff to build it.
Steve worries whenever I start a project like this because I usually experience one or two major emotional meltdowns before the project is completed. When I was building the chicken coop I know he considered divorce on at least a half dozen occasions. But this hive, although it’s not complete, has been a different experience!
I got my wood without any drama. The saw at Lowe’s was out of order so I was a little disappointed because I was hoping to sweet talk them into cutting my lumber for me. But I got it home and got it cut without any drama (I had forgotten how much I really enjoy using the table saw). I finished putting together the pieces called followers with so little drama that I keep feeling like I’ve forgotten something. I still have to put the saw away so maybe I’ll drop it on my foot or something.
The picture above is my solution to the realization that I didn’t have the right clamps for this project. The narrow “top bar” is being glued to the “follower” board. So I wedged the follower between two cinder blocks and used another cinder block to weight the top bar. I wedged an old gate wheel under the block to keep it from falling over. The other follower board is wedged between two cans of paint and I’m using two 5-pound hand weights to weight the top bar.
Life is so sweet.