Monday, June 24, 2013

The Top Bar Hives are Finished (Almost)

The top bar hives that my DH has been working on all spring are done, just in time for the bees' arrival yesterday, but more on that later.

Today, I thought I'd show you some photos of the project that has been occupying so much of our time and energy for the last few months.

As you can see, the beehives were a family affair with everyone getting to do something. Even the littlest squirt got to glue in biscuit joiners and do lots and lots of painting.

Of course, the results were not always up to my husband's more exacting standard of work. The paint job in particular looks like it was done by a two-year old -- because it kind of was.

The boys sometimes really surprised us with some excellent skills. This was their first time chiselling, and our firstborn in particular did a super nice job. Even better than his (ahem) old man. (Sorry, honey, but you did an awesome job overall.)

Of course, DH insisted that we inscribe some messages to "encourage" the bees to do their very best. His messages tended to have a socialist bent like "Gather nectar for a better tomorrow" and "Honey & Life!" Some of them bordered on cult-like (Praise to the Great and Glorious Keeper!)

By contrast, my inscriptions were much more commercialistic and jingly -- Got Nectar?, Don't Bee Evil, Happy Hour at the Top Bar!, etc. I suggested that we should keep notes and see whether the communist or free market hive performed better, but alas, as it turned out we only got one of the hives we ordered. But again, more on that in the next post.

So anyway... Drum roll please.... It's time for the big reveal.

Ta-da! Aren't they bee-utiful? DH did a fantastic job, I think. The hives even have doors on the sides that open up to observation windows so that I can watch the bees inside the hives. Plus the bottoms are screened with a trap door that opens so that debris can fall out, or to allow extra ventilation on super hot days.

One of the boys christened the hives Earth and Water. So I guess DH will have to work on Air and Fire next spring.

Oh right. I almost forgot. The title of this post indicates that they're not quite finished. I suppose I should explain that. We're waiting for some small Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs to arrive, and those will be the finishing touch above the entrances. Every barn should have an ornament, right? Even a honey barn.


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