08 May 2011
Preparing for the arrival of our bees required getting their new hive box ready. The large bottom box is called the "brooder" - this is where the queen lays her eggs. There are ten "frames" in this box for this purpose. Before eggs can be layed or honey produced, comb must be "drawn"on these frames. Many beekeepers use commercially manufactured comb cells to help the bees get started. We chose to let the bees begin their comb from scratch as they do in nature.
individual frame with rectangular cardboard inserted in frame
Melted bees wax is painted on rectangular pieces of cardboard that has been inserted in the frames.
melted bees wax
These frames are then put back in to the brood box. The queen bee will then lay her eggs in the newly formed cells. At the same time cells are being formed for the storage of honey which is food for the bees. When the bees have a surplus of honey then the beekeeper is able to harvest this excess - always making sure to leave sufficient supply for the bees.
close up of frame with "painted" beeswax
brooder box with frames in place