Assembling the frames

brood frame

A brood frame fitted with wax foundation

Once the boxes (brood box and supers) are assembled, the next step is to assemble the frames. The frames are where the bees make the wax comb. In order to get them to build the comb so it’s easier for the beekeeper to manage, a sheet of wax foundation is fitted into a frame and the bees then add wax to it to build up their cells. Each frame can hold 5 – 6 lbs of honey so the wax foundation is reinforced with thin wire.
This is a very pleasant job to do, with the lovely smell of beeswax. Just hope I can get some bees soon otherwise the wax dries out and the bees don’t like it.

Beehive assembly

beehiveWe’re lucky to have Wynne Jones beekeeping supplies nearby so I can just pop in after my welsh lesson to pick up what I need. I’ve started with one brood box and a couple of supers. The brood box is where the queen lives and lays her eggs, tended by the worker bees. As the bees increase in number, they will need more space to store honey so you put on an extra box called a super. This is shallower than the brood box so it won’t get too heavy when full of honey.

As you can see, the hive is supplied as a kit. What could be better – you have the fun of lots of nailing and glueing to do! I could happily assemble bee hives all day. Assembly instructions can be downloaded from Thornes who make the hive but I followed the sequence on this video:

Learning about bees

Novice beekeepers

Novice beekeepers in the apiary

I recently finished a beekeeping course at Llysfasi College near Ruthin. The course was excellent and I’d certainly recommend it for anyone wanting to get started with bees. It was a good mixture of theory in the classroom and hands on learning in the apiary.  Loved opening the hives and finding the queen, the smell of the wax combs and the bees flying around us. Such a lot to learn though and hard to imagine getting to the stage where we can take honey from our own hive. I hope to tell the story of getting there in this blog.