Bees will be buzzing around our garden once again in the not too distant future.
I bought a Langstroth hive from the UK when we moved back to New Zealand. It is made from Red Cedar which is naturally rot resistant. Hives in New Zealand tend to be made of pine or similar and need treating and looking after much more than red cedar. On our household declaration to the Ministry of Agriculture we had to declare we had a beehive even though it was still in kit form and contained no bee products, just wood. That rang the alarms in New Zealand who are quite rightly very protective of their own flora and fauna. The kit was inspected top to bottom and released.
Here it is after having been assembled and painted in undercoat. The red cedar can be left but will go grey in the sun. It can be oiled with boiled linseed oil. In New Zealand boxes are dipped in paraffin wax to treat them. We decided to paint ours to become a garden feature.
After a few coats of Lavender paint the main nest box called the brood box, lid and legs looks like this. The sloping platform to the right is the landing board. The bees land here before walking up into the hive entrance.
It sits on its own sturdy legs next to the lavender hedge and veggie patch waiting for the bees to arrive.
Our local club has a bee breeder who lives only 20 minutes from us. We have ordered a queen and bees from him. Bees used to the local environment should settle in nicely. They should arrive towards the end of the month. So now we wait.
We won’t get any honey this year. 2015/2016 will be all about establishing the colony and getting it strong ready for winter. Dont forget this is the southern hemisphere. We are approaching summer.
In the meantime I have been reading up in my books and of course Youtube contains much beekeeping information to watch.
Come back later to see how we progress.