The new top bar hive has been built, oiled, and placed in the garden. If all goes according to plan the bees will move in toward the end of next week. I plan to number the top bars to keep track of each bar and the movements that I make with it.
While I am waiting for the bees to get here, I have been rereading Top Bar Beekeeping by Les Crowder and The Thinking Beekeeper by Christy Hemenway. I want to make sure that I feel as ready as possible. I have a notebook that I am writing notes from the books in to remind me of good practices and timelines.
I have also spent time on www.hivetracks.com updating my hives and to do lists. I had fun looking at the map to see where the bees in my yard may travel to. There is quite a bit of conservation land near here for the bees to visit.
Honey bees need to have access to water, so I set up a waterer for them that has rocks in the bowl to prevent drowning. I set it up between the raspberries and the fruit trees. Soon they will be flowering and the bees should find it.
The other top bar hive has been set up in the host yard. I will be picking up the bees for that hive on Monday. That will be my first package installation. I practiced lighting the smoker. It took me a few tries to get it going. I feel comfortable with it now.
One of the final things that I need to do is to get the feeders ready. I will be feeding the bees equal parts sugar and water to help them get started. Hopefully I will not need to feed them too long, but I want to do what I can to help them succeed.
To make the hive smell appealing to them, I am going to add a drop or two of lemongrass essential oil to the hive before I put the bees in. It looks like it will be raining Monday for the installation, so I am hoping that the bees will just stay in the hive for the day. Hopefully after being in the hive for a while, they won’t have any issues calling it home.
I am hoping to get some video of the installations to share and of course there will be pictures. Now I need to make a list of everything that I need to bring, so that I do not forget anything. Wish me luck!