I have always liked bees probably because as a gardener I understand the tremendous good they do. At the farm I suspected they lived in the walls of the bathhouse for I would often find them flying about in the inside. Very friendly. Never did they attack me, which is more than I can say for the other bathhouse dwellers, the red wasps. Captivated bees were carefully herded to the great outdoors to go about their gathering goodness chore. Above you see one of the lucky cuties as it, for some reason, devours my windowsill.
In the Sacramento Mountains I’d like to encourage bees to hang around my yard and garden. I can do that by planting bee appealing plants or if I am particularly energetic, flush, and insane that season, setting up a hive. If only it were easier.
The above is a traditional Langstroth hive designed for maximum honey output. They are hard to build and hard to take care of. Below is a great pic from http://trianglewins.com/ showing all the parts necessary for such a hive. That looks waaaayyy too complicated for me.
I don’t need much honey. Just enough to slap me with a sugar high every once in a while. How about one like this. You can see the combs or the bee swarm, I’m not sure which, through the opened viewing door.
This is called a top bar hive. Here are free plans to build this style. Is this not magnificent in it’s simplicity? Would be even easier without the window or legs or metal lid. This photo is from a wordpresser, http://topbarbees.wordpress.com/. Just found him and definitely will be looking more closely at his site.
Here’s the plans to another slightly different style. Both appear easy to build.
I think if I have a hive, it will be the top bar style. But where to put it? Well, that’s a whole new blog.