A Little Bee Work

One on my favourite things about this time of the year (besides the fact that I get to see sunshine again on a work day) is that it is close enough to spring to start thinking about spring type activities. Now that we have the bees getting ready for spring includes bee stuff like building new bee supplies. We have been in the process of making new frames (those things that hang in the bee box where my bees build comb to store their honey) since last fall and it is about time we finished them. It is a pretty simple process but we’ve only been able to complete about 10 frames a night so it is slow going. We spent this evening working on frames at a friend’s house and we are now about halfway done – here’s a few shots of an evening of frame building.

Jon built this frame making mould and we use it to hold a bunch of frames while they are being glued and then nailed together.
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While one person is glueing and nailing the other two people are stringing and adding wax foundations to the frames. You have to string a base of wire through the frames to hold the wax which can be kind of frustrating:

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The wire has to be pretty tight – tight enough to play a tune on:

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Once the wire is in place you slip in a sheet of wax and then use a car battery charger to run an electrical current through the wires and lightly melt the wax to the wire. We haven’t quite perfected this stage and I left frame building tonight with a very small burn on one finger.

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Our finished frames will go into the hives this spring for the bees to draw comb onto and then fill. These are deep frames so our bees will use them for raising brood and storing honey that we won’t eat.

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