Friday, 13 March 2009

Woodwork and a spoonful of honey

I have begun the task of put the flat pack bee hive together. This is the Brood box, which is where the queen will spend her time laying and the nursery bees feeding the larvae. 

The pack consists of 1 Brood box, 2 Supers, a roof, and a base. The Supers are exactly like the Brood in design except that they are shallower - for a good reason. This is where the bees will store their honey. In my bee class, last night, we had the chance of handling a frame of honey - it's quite heavy. These boxes can accommodate about 11 frames, which for a super, in a National hive, will weight a total of around 3o lb (16Kg). Other type of hives are much bigger, so one can imagine the weight of the honey in those. It takes thousands of flights to produce a tea spoon of honey, and they fly at a speed of 15 miles an hour. So next time you see a jar of honey think about the air mile. 

Like many hobbies beekeeping has it's share of related activities: reading (lots), gardening (a little), and woodwork (as much as one likes). Although strictly speaking what I am doing is not woodwork just assembling the parts together, there is still a demand of attention to details during the process and the satisfaction of seeing, and touching, the finished product. This I suppose is the essence of why so many people like doing craft. My task was made harder by a lack of written instructions. I was sent a wrong set of plan although I managed to worked most of it out, and later had it confirmed by the supplier of my hive. Yesterday during my experiment with fitting the parts together my front room resemble a workshop!  When the whole hive is done I shall post a photo of it. It's looking good.

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