Bad to the Bone

My new top-bar hive is being met with general displeasure. The plywood doesn’t seem to be aesthetically pleasing to too many people. I like it. I’d prefer to use some rough-cut lumber, I guess, but that’s not easy to find, Reader. Others want me to see my next hive made of pine.

I think my aesthetics are just different from most.

I LOVE the corrugated tin roof, but it presented a safety issue. No one would go near its shredded edges. The words “to the bone” were often heard. So, on Friday, my friend Sherry and I headed to Loesch Hardware store (where those guys can figure anything out), and we bought some trim stuff and some silicone calk. We trimmed the aluminum shards from the cut edges; we bent the corners down; we lined the edges with this rubber trim stuff and calked it in silicone. Now it’s safe, and I still like it. (Once the sun comes up, I’ll take a picture of it and post it for you.)

Next time, though, I’m going to a metal fabricator to have my tin cut.


My First Top-Bar Hive

I know you want to see my first Kenya Top-Bar Hive.

I’ve already got plans for a wider, shorter one…one that will accept the frames from my medium-depth Langstroth hive boxes. I want the flexibility of swapping frames from any hives in my yard.

I learned, though, from Michael Bush (I think of Michael Bush as I the Walter Cronkite of beekeeping: the most trusted name in bees) on, that the waxed-string guides aren’t much of a guide. So, on my next hive, I’ll use something else I have up my sleeve. Shit. I thought I had the perfect solution to a simple guide. I think I’ll leave the waxed string on this hive, though, and see for myself how the bees deal with it.

Also: I love the look and the function of the corrugated tin roof, but cutting it is a bitch. And I’m sure to get little slivers of tin in my hands whenever I inspect the hive. Either slivers or stitches. I gotta find a metal smith to help me cut it better.

My first Kenya top-bar hive
My first Kenya top-bar hive