The 2012 Monster Hive

We’re Gonna Need a Ladder!

I took a few pictures as I built three top-bar hives this week, but I think the pictures are boring, so I’m not posting them. Perhaps I’ll document the progress later this week when my friends Heidi and Anne spend the afternoon building their hive.

As the construction days wear on, and as I wrestle to install a new blade on the table saw, and as all of my crevices fill with sawdust, I become less interested in taking pictures and more interested in finishing the work. So, I sort of stopped taking pictures about half way through.

But, much to my delight, my car is now packed with a couple of top-bar hives for placement in the “prairie” section at Brazee Street Studios, and there are a couple of additional, uncommitted hives waiting for action in my garage. I’m finally ahead of the game.

More about the Brazee Street Studio project in another post. For now, please enjoy with me the monster hive that’s growing over at Simon and Patti Foster’s apiary. Holy cow. It’s only early April and this hive is already seven boxes tall.

The 2012 Monster Hive
The Monster Hive: side view, staked down

 

Marion Ackerman and several of his hives

Mister, I Am Now Your Student

My bee buddy Chris and I took a little roadtrip. Well, we didn’t really go far. He calls, he says, “You wanna go with me?,” I say, “Sure!,” he says, “I’ll be by in about 28 minutes,” and we go.

Today he took me to visit a bee guy. Yard full of bee equipment both in use and out of use. Stacked as high as it’ll go. Garage full of extracting equipment, wax melting equipment, the works. Sheds full of more equipment. More sheds full of more equipment. Beehives everywhere. Kitchen full of honey. I cannot begin to tell you the extent of this.

Marion Ackerman lives and breathes bees. He uses chemicals in his hives, but he could tell by the way I was talking that I’m learning my stuff. No shit. I am. And I intend to learn from Marion Ackerman, too, even though I remain convinced that avoiding chemicals will mean stronger bees for me.

Marion already asked me if I wanted to go with him to look at Simpson’s place. Without a moment’s hesitation I said, “Yes,” and he knows I’m serious.

I told him he might as well start calling me his shadow. I told him I’d see him tomorrow. I may just go pop in on him, too.

Marion Ackerman and several of his hives
Chris Stevens and Marion Ackerman and some bee equipment
Some of Marion Ackerman's not-currently-in-use bee equipment (well, a swarm took up residence in one of these boxes)
A very few of Marion Ackerman's active beehives