Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Small Matter: Lack of Storage

I'm just thinking about those 25 hives Dad and I thought we could manage.

Now I ask myself where would all that equipment be stored for winter?

Beekeeping involves lots of bulky equipment.

Good thing we're only running four hives.

There's more to think about than just running the bee yard and the time and expenses with that. At first that's the main focus. But then fall comes and you realize you might have a problem: Lack of storage space.

With just four hives I had no place to put 20+ honey supers and extra deeps.

The truck goes in the garage, leaving very little side room. Besides, I didn't want vehicle exhaust fumes in proximity to honey supers.

The wooden ware such as deeps and honey supers can't just be left outside. Mice and other insects would see them as either a food source or a potential home--or both!

Last year I stored my supers in the basement.

Since then I've discovered I've got tiny moths in the house. I'm not certain but it is probable that moths, eggs or larvae were in the frames of wax. Or they could have come in on some other food stuff.

Either way, a better storage solution was needed.

Dad and I made a trip to the local hardware store and purchased a 6'x6' vinyl shed.

During some cool days in November we worked to put it together.

First we built the base, which we soon discovered wasn't level enough. Strong winds and the lack of a level surface caused us to give up and wait for a calmer day.

We levelled the base and the next day was calm and we spent several hours putting the shed together.

We both noticed that we'd worked at it most of the day. Dad said, "You know, we haven't even had an argument."
I laughed and said, "The day isn't over yet. We could have one now if you like."

A week later I removed the clean and dry supers from the bee yard (I let the bees rob them dry). I bought extra inner covers (without centre holes) and I used them on the bottom. I stacked the supers and then covered them with another inner cover.

Three weeks later we had snow storms and ended up with 100 cm of snow.

Everything was covered in a thick heavy layer. In many cases the snow even hung well over the roof edges.

Our roofs are still covered in snow now, but not as much.

The shed held strong and when I opened it a couple weeks later it was dry and clean inside.

I noticed there's even extra room in there. I could probably fit another 15+ supers.

Now there's something to think about. Doesn't more room mean I can handle more hives?
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