Wednesday, April 7, 2010
To Bee or Not to Bee?
Looks quite horrible, no? Keep or toss and get new hives? Still have bees at all? I love tradition and it's a loving memory of Grandpa but...? Yes, I was shocked to see them in broad daylight! - Well, the nets could be cleaned surprisingly easily! (I'm not sure whether to clean the 'invisible' propolized edges of the 'net' more too?)
I was advised to let go of these as new ones are cheap. (?)
Yes, it looks pretty scary!
The beehive could be cleaned quite okay, there are almost invisible cracks on the sides and in edges, bees put propolis there to fix this, I mostly scraped it off! (I was advised to do that, dunno? Though it seems counterproductive? New bees will have to propolize it all again?)
I was told old stuff must be scraped off and then to use fire to sterilize the wood.
This is the scariest part: the door is VERY bad! So, not sure what to do!
Will the neighbour have time to maybe make a new door or two? (Would it be better to just get new hives as some have advised? We're a bit late to ask the neighbour to make new ones, Dad said he might during the winter! I'd love to learn to make and renovate furniture and stuff myself, it'll be a long process I guess though.)
Partly, cleaning an old beehive is pleasant - the smell of propolis is soo yummy!!
Partly, I was fretting if there was anything iffy in the dirt (Grandpa's old neighbour said the bees just vanished from neglect and there weren't any diseases, so I hope all would be right with this!)
Dad said the beehives are probably as old as he is, or more! (60+ years!) He doesn't remember any new ones being made, these were quite new when he was little!
In any case, I've learnt a bit how to approach such a project, and saw it doesn't take so long to clean. You only see the real state of wood after you've cleaned it, and doors seem to be the part to watch out for!
Hopefully next year (winter?) I'll be able to clean and possibly renovate the old spindle too (I'd done it before if I knew what to use, so that it would be as eco as possible and still protect the wood?)
So, will I still have bees or will I give up on the project for the time being? (Or, until next year?) Stay tuned!
(Suggestions and ideas welcome!) What do you think?