In terms of preparing my site, I’m more behind than planned due to delays with finding a strimmer. It’s not a practical purchase for us as we can manage our yard with pruning shears and a small mower…and storage space for anything is very limited.
The allotment informed me that they had a strimmer for members to borrow, but it was’t working at the moment. They were hoping some of the men would be able to fix it. After a couple of weeks waiting and hearing nothing, I asked the members of my local beekeepers association. Thankfully, one member had a strimmer which he was willing to lend me (I’m very grateful for that). As a result, I am able to report that I got the site cleared of brambles & weeds! My husband was nearby to provide encouragement and medical support in the event I strimmed my legs off. Thankfully, there were no such issues.
The next step involves levelling the site with gravel before placing concrete slabs.
Regarding hives: I’m still not 100% decided on which type to buy at BeeTradex…Poly vs Cedar. I’m going to visit a beekeeper who has poly hives to see how he’s gotten on with them. Following this, I’m hoping to have more clarity which hive type to choose.
On December 30th I met with the allotment coordinator to determine if we could find a suitable place on the allotment for placing two hives. Basically, here’s how it stands.
- All the allotment members were in agreement to the hives being present.
- Short drive from home and able to bring the car quite close to the hives.
- The site is secure either by fencing, locked gate or very thick brambles.
- Two holders have chickens and pigeons in coops on their allotments.
- There is a nearby swamp and stream.
- There’s a lot of natural forage available already, including early spring & winter forage.
- I can locate my hives away from the actual allotments on the edge of a small willow copse, which will also provide shade against the afternoon sun in the summer.
- The site requires a lot of heavy work to prepare it!
I’ve signed the papers and will pick up my allotment key on January 20th. I’m giving myself until the end of February to get a site cleared, levelled, gravelled, sanded then covered with concrete slabs.
I’m planning on going to BeeTradex on March 3rd as I’ll need to make some rather big purchases. I’m currently researching which type of hive to purchase & what components I’ll need to pick up. I’m not completely decided on anything at present. Currently my priorities are finding a solid streamer and
preparing the site. And in case anyone was wondering…
I did not get a hive tool in my stocking at Christmas but I did get a copy of The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping, 2nd Edition!
Success! I received an offer of interest and may have a suitable location for two hives of bees this coming spring! Exciting! We’ve arranged to meet on December 30th to determine the most suitable location for the bees. It may turn out not to be a suitable site, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
My name is Denali & I’m new to beekeeping. I’ve been asked to write this column from a novice perspective; the challenges, failures & successes.
Continue reading “Chronicles of a Novice Beekeeper – Ep.1”