Hey everyone, it has been a cold long Winter, but alas, Summer beckons and with that the promise of another incredible Honey Flow, I took out some of my gear yesterday and started preparing to 'catcher boxes' to catch some new swarms.
In modern beekeeping, a Langstroth hive is any vertically modular beehive that has the key features of vertically hung frames, a bottom board with entrance for the bees, boxes containing frames for brood and honey (the lowest box for the queen to lay eggs, and boxes above where honey may be stored) and an inner cover and top cap to provide weather protection. In a Langstroth hive, the bees build honeycomb into frames, which can be moved with ease. The frames are designed to prevent bees from attaching honeycombs where they would either connect adjacent frames, or connect frames to the walls of the hive. The movable frames allow the beekeeper to manage the bees in a way which was formerly impossible.
The key innovation responsible for the hive's design was the discovery of bee space, a gap size of between 6–9 mm (1⁄4–3⁄8 in) in which bees would not build comb, nor would they close it with propolis.
Modern Langstroth hives have different dimensions from L. L. Langstroth's beehive that was originally patented in 1852 and manufactured until approximately 1920, but retain the main features of allowing bee space as well as easy access which works well for the bees but also makes management of the beehive easier for the beekeeper.
The standard beehive used in many parts of the world for beekeeping is based on the Langstroth hive
More here as per wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langstroth_hive
I firstly sprayed off all the hives and catcher boxes with water and set out in the sun to dry. I got some wax foundation to install into the frames. More info below as per wikipedia.org on those..
Wax foundation was invented by German Johannes Mehring in 1857, a few years after Langstroth designed and patented the Langstroth hive on October 5, 1852. Mehring's wax foundation had only the bottom of the cells, and today's base with the foundation of the cells was invented by US beekeeper Samuel Wagner. The Langstroth patent did not call for foundation and let the bees build their own comb.
At first, wax foundations were made in the wax foundation press. The first presses were made of wood, while later presses could be made of plaster, cement, and finally metal, which are the ones used today. Wagner also invented the wax foundation rollers, but never perfected them; the first usable rollers were made by Amos Root and precise mechanic Alva Washburn in 1875. In 1895. Detroit inventor Edward Weed invented rollers that can make wax foundation in a continuous roll.
Melted wax attaches the foundation to the frames with ease...
All done and dusted, now to bait the 5 hives and catcher boxes with honey and lemon grass oil to attract bees and hope for the best..
Here a nice article as per wikipedia.org regarding their swarming behaviour genereally in Spring: Swarming is a honey bee colony's natural means of reproduction. In the process of swarming, a single colony splits into two or more distinct colonies.
Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two- or three-week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season. Secondary afterswarms, or cast swarms may happen. Cast swarms are usually smaller and are accompanied by a virgin queen. Sometimes a beehive will swarm in succession until it is almost totally depleted of workers.
One species of honey bee that participates in such swarming behavior is Apis cerana. The reproduction swarms of this species settle 20–30 m away from the natal nest for a few days and will then depart for a new nest site after getting information from scout bees. Scout bees search for suitable cavities in which to construct the swarm's home. Successful scouts will then come back and report the location of suitable nesting sites to the other bees. Apis mellifera participates in a similar swarming process. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarming_(honey_bee)
Tinkie my gorgeous Dachund in close proximity and supervising as she does.
Nature the incredible.
I trust you have an amazing Wednesday.
Love and light and be blessed.