Feb 23, 2012

Honey Bees!

Owning a home means having lots of projects in and around the house. Having the goal of self sufficiency pretty much doubles all of those projects. Once I moved into my home, I decided that it would be good to do something new every year. The first year it was the wood stove installation and this past summer it was chickens, which at this point I'm sure you're tired of hearing about! That brings me to this summer's endeavor- Honey Bees!! I enrolled in a 5 week beekeeping class through my local beekeepers association, the Mountain Empire Beekeepers Association. I am also currently working on a pamphlet about honey bees to give my neighbors, stating some facts about honey bees and the good they do. I'll post it up once I am finished with it.
Snippet from my pamphlet

In the upcoming weeks I will be building a Kenyan Top Bar Hive (KTBH). I wish for my hive to be as close to the natural thing as I can get, while still providing some honey. The KTBH doesn't involve any plastic or metal framing. The bees build whole combs on their own. It's also situated higher than most hives, reducing back strain from excessive bending. The KTBH is also cheap to construct compared to other hive set-ups. So just in case I hate beekeeping, I won't be out as much cash as I could be. There are advantages and disadvantages to every hive type though. The KTBH does not produce as much honey as the Langstroth hives. Some beekeepers also do not like the process involved with extracting the honey from the combs.
The ever visible Langstroth                 Kenyan Top Bar Hive
I will be building my hive following the steps in this video: Dave's KTBH Construction. It seems simple enough, considering I have zero skills with woodworking.

I've placed my order for honey bees with a local beekeeper, which will be ready for pickup in Mid-April. Wish me luck, I better get busy!