Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Hive of Activity

The big brown truck drove up our driveway this afternoon delivering a much anticipated package - two packages actually.

We have had bees for years, off and on, however, all of our equipment was scavenged from here and there.  None of our hives fit together very well, being made by different people at different times.  All of our bottom boards were rotting and our hive bodies beginning to fall apart.  This year, we decided to make an investment in our honey bees.  We ordered beautiful new English Garden Hives from Brushy Mountain Bees.  Sir Knight and I have started off with two new hives, although Maid Elizabeth has plans to order two more.

Unwrapping the frames

The bottom board
Our new hives are untreated wood, so they will need to be either painted or verathaned.  I plan to just verathane them and enjoy the natural beauty of the wood.  Until then I will be putting them on a table at the foot of the stairs and enjoy seeing them in all their glory.  The  copper tops can be polished or allowed to acquire a lovely weathered-green patina (my choice, I think).

Maid Elizabeth and I will be busy getting the hives ready for their new inhabitants, which will be delivered in April (I'm pretty sure the post-mistress will love me!).  Until then, I will just bask in the beauty of my lovely new English Garden Hives!

(As much fun as we had opening the boxes, Master Calvin in his best friend Hobbes had more fun playing in the empty boxes and packaging.  It was a big day!)

Master Calvin

Calvin & Hobbes


  1. I had to smile at Hobbes' hearing aids... I wear a set myself. :)

  2. Hobbes real? :)

    I just got in my first bee hive and am waiting for the bees in late april also. The post office is used to us getting chickens in, I bet bees will have them calling us very quickly1

  3. I would love to see a review on how well these hives hold up,and about their customer service.

  4. Alright, love your bee hives. In the near future we have plans on investing in having hives.

  5. These are the exact hives we have! We are close enough that we were able to drive over and pick them up, I guess it's been two years ago now. Initially I tried an all-natural, marine-grade sealant since, I too, love the natural wood look. (We also let the tops naturally patina.) But this year I've reluctantly begun to paint them. They were aging much too fast even with the sealant. I'll be anxious to hear how your hives fare. (I'm sure you probably know this but you'll want to make sure whatever sealant you use is well cured before your bees arrive.)

    I'm anxious, too, to find out if my bees made it this year. We've had a very hard winter with many weeks of sub-freezing/sub-zero temperatures. Right now the hives are mostly buried in our latest snow so I'll wait for a nice balmy day to open the hives. Last year I had some half-filled frames when I took off the honey supers so I saved those in a chest cooler. I plan to put them on the bees (if any survived!) as soon as possible to feed them until some plants or trees are flowering.

    For others thinking of these hives: Just be aware that the peaked roofs are prettier than the flat, metal roofs of a lot of hives BUT if you're in a high wind area you're not going to be able to weigh down the English garden hive roofs as easily (most people lay a brick or two on top to keep the lid secure).

    Another thing, the peaked roofs do not lend themselves to being a work surface if you have more than one hive. (It's nice sometimes in the bee yard to be able to use the neighboring hive roof to set tools, etc. if you don't have another work surface.) We discovered these minor drawbacks after we decided on the English garden style, and probably would have chosen them anyway, but it's something to think about when choosing what style hive you're going to purchase.

    Blessings on your day - and your bees! (I think the bees are one of my favorites among all our enterprises!)

  6. P.S. We found Brushy Mountains customer service to be great! We were at their store - don't know how they are over phone or email . . .