Friday, March 11, 2011

Back Saver Bee Hive Stands

Hive stands on the trailer.
Mark picked up 25 aluminum bee hive stands, his "Back Saver 1000" model. 

Features include:
  • all welded aluminum construction -- won't rust
  • extended platform holds hive cover and supers as you work (and keeps equipment off the ground)
  • rain cups to deter ants 
  • height raises equipment to comfortable working height
  • fits standard hive bodies and bottom boards
Mark designed these with the help of our friend Jody Reyer, a welder.  The initial prototypes were welded steel that was then galvanized.  The weight and cost made them impractical, and the rain cups were too low. Click here to see one of the prototypes. The first aluminum model was improved in weight, but still had the rain cups improperly placed.  Finally, the new version appears to have all of the elements Mark initially desired. 

Side view.
Top view.

He uses treated lumber to brace the ends.  He wants me to do a pictorial guide to assembling, as he figures most beekeepers will prefer to do the braces themselves rather than pay extra shipping for lumber and screws. But, knowing Mark, he'll do whatever the customer wants!

Hive stand in use during inspection.
If you're interested in purchasing a hive stand ($189 plus shipping), contact Mark at 662-418-4422.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time to Build an Ark

We had a close call this week.  Bee Hill came perilously close to being under water.  A ferocious storm blew through -- lightning struck so close the house shook -- and the rain poured down Tuesday night, and part of the day Wednesday.  Our plans of expanding to two smaller hills on another part of the property dissolved upon the discovery that they were submerged.  Mark couldn't resist the opportunity to wade out and snap a few pictures. Clearly, his boots were not tall enough for the task!

Bee Hill, March 9, 2011

The Intrepid (and Wet) Beekeeper

One of our young pear trees in bloom.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What's Blooming in Your Neck of the Woods?

Before I became a beekeeper, I didn't pay much attention to the details in nature, such as when flowers bloom.  I've always loved flowers, and used to plant them each spring with my mom (Hi Mom!).

This year, however, my eyes were hungry for the first signs that something, anything was blooming.  First came a tiny purple flower called Henbit, which I'm sad to say is called a weed.

Next, a tiny white flower.  Name unknown.
And a tiny pink and white flower.  Name also unknown.  Help me out, here, plant people!
But, by far my favorite, the glorious pear.  Pear trees this time of year look like giant snow ball puffs on sticks. I took this photo of someone else's pear tree.

 Our pear tree is much more the Charlie Brown variety.  But it's close to the bees who are delighted it's there.

Mark pulled down a branch so I could get a better shot of the delicate blossoms.  (He's wonderful and patient like that.)

Red bud trees are blooming in the edges of some woods.  Daffodils and other bulb flowers are springing up.  So what's blooming where you live?