Saturday, 24 September 2016

Post 222 Native bee hive installed

With my friend's native bees accepting the new entrance I made for their nest site I decided to bite the bullet and install the hive.

Here it is in place. Because of the position of the shelf (easier to drill into the mortar than the bricks) a spacer was needed to get it up to the right height.

This is a shot of the connector. Its a short piece of PVC pipe, pre-drilled with an escape hatch, which has been black taped over. It seems that once a new brood gets working in the hive this little hatch may reduce tension between the groups, until they are fully separated. It sounds like it will be a time of careful observation and fine judgement.

I set the hive in place in the gloom of dusk at about 16C. There was no action around the nest entrance. I came back at 930 and still nothing happening.  Back again at 1100 and just the one little guy buzzing around the outside. It was still pretty cool (22C) and the hive is in a position where it doesn't get morning sun, unfortunately. It seems that is a key point in siting a hive - to get them out of bed and working in the mornings.
So with no apparent action I took the lit off to look in through the perspex cover under the lid. Happily there were about 30 bees in the hive thoroughly checking it out. Early days indeed for a process that sounds like it will take months.

Boxed it all back up again and put the poly cover and tin lid on the top. The hive is on a really bad spot, exposed to the south west which is going to be hellish in the heat of the coming summer. If we could get this done by new year that would be helpful. The polystyrene cover is 20mm thick. That's equivalent to about 80mm of pine of 100 mm of hardwood. There is also a small air gap. So with the reflective colour it should be ok. There is another 20mm of poly stuck to the underside of the metal roof. Just to bring a little objectivity to the matter I've put a temperature  probe into the inside of the hive to keep an interested eye on the internal temperature.

The entrance is located towards the east, away from the afternoon sun. Ok bees over to you.

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