This past week I made some new additions to our hive.
First, I got a screened bottom to replace the solid bottom. There are several advantages to a screened bottom. They provide better moisture control, better ventilation, aids in the colony’s temperature regulation, and provides a cleaner environment in the hive as debris can fall through the screen. There is also some research that it helps decrease mite growth and increase brood growth. (That means fewer pests and more baby bees.)
front access still allows space for the entrance feeder
I picked up this gem of a screened bottom at the bee store last Saturday. It has access to the pull out tray (to check for mites) from both the front and the back, has a very nice finish and sturdy construction!
Here’s how it looks on the hive…
On Thursday, Will and I did a hive inspection all on our own. Upon further inspection, we discovered that they had once again started to build comb on top of the inner lid. Arrrr! We pulled out a few frames and figured that they only had about 3 left to draw out wax on. Since that follows the “Rule of 7” (7 of the 10 frames have wax drawn out), I was really glad I had already bought a second hive body!
A hive body is the bottom one or two boxes in your hive. This is where the colony rears brood (baby bees) and stores their winter supply of honey. In cooler climates, two hive bodies are recommended to get your colony through the winter.
My new body has wax frames rather than the embossed plastic frames in my original box. The wax frames were recommended and I figured I’d give them both a try and see what I think.
I was also glad I had painted my new hive body already. You can’t paint them once they’re on the hive. *Only paint the outside of your woodenware (parts of your beehive). They need to be sealed from the weather but not painted where they come in contact with the bees inside.
I didn’t have any of the bright yellow paint that was used for my first box, but I did have a cheery blue and I love the way it looks with the yellow!