I have been attracted to raising bees but really put off by the up-front costs. Fixed costs are evil.
Then I went to a field day at General Motors, Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant. They have bee hives on the property and sell the honey. I talked to the two apiary coordinators and they had a suggestion: Google "Top Bar Hives"
|Some honeycomb from a wild swarm that set up housekeeping on an autumn olive. They got wiped out last fall when they were unable to defend the comb against yellow jackets. I cannot decide if this comb is shaped more like Africa or Texas.|
|Top view. You can see how they built off the the stick at the bottom of the photo. I think this is a very cool pattern.|
|Sumac sticks of appropriate dimension|
|Close up of sticks in Barn Owl/Bee box. Alternate thin and thick sticks. Alternate fat-end and skinny end, look at a box of shotgun shells to get a better feel for how to alternate fat/skinny.|
The front cover was fastened in place with four deck screws. I left a 5/8" gap at the top for the bees to come and go. I will put a piece of foam on top to minimize condensate dripping down on to the comb in the winter time.
Only time will tell if bees decide to take up residence.
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