Primed and ready

Once everything was constructed, we set about priming and painting the supers so that we could get them in place prior to the ground freezing.  We also didn’t want to be painting beehives or positioning our boxes in 3 feet of snow.  Better to be proactive!

We primed the boxes with two coats of white, outdoor primer, followed up with a “sky blue” finish.  Apparently bees aren’t fond of hives that are too dark, so we tried to keep it as “cheerful” as possible.

Painting beehives
The kids wanted to help paint as well

 

Painting supers
You see him roll’n

Helpful tip, rather than painting each box individually, stack them as you’d have them in the hive.  Then simply roll on the primer and paint.  It makes the entire process go exponentially faster, and all you need to do to keep the boxes from sticking together is reposition, or “crack” them before they dry.

Painted beehives
Ready and waiting

You’ll notice that we have 2 hives with 2 large supers and 2 medium supers.  When we actually get our bees we’ll start with only two large supers in each hive until the bees have some time to establish themselves.  For now we’re keeping the remaining boxes outside as well since we’d prefer to not keep them in the garage where there are gas/oil fumes that may deter the bees.

Ultimately we’ll store the extra equipment in a shed… which hasn’t been built yet (another project for the spring).

The supers have arrived!

Woo Hoo!  Earlier this season we picked up our supers and other equipment from Joe over at Country Barn Farms.  He’s a fantastic resource for anyone who has questions pertaining to raising bees.  He also sells equipment and local queens.  Highly recommend.

Unassembled beehive supers
Lots and lots of pieces

As you can see , everything arrived unassembled.  So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work assembling supers and frames.

Finished frame with white foundation
Finished frame with white foundation

We opted for frames with foundation so that there’s a base for the bees to start.  Black foundation for the brood frames (where the queen lays the eggs), white foundation for the the honey frames.

The kids also got in on the fun.

Kids building bee supers
Our oldest wielding a hammer

As much as we’re using our first few hives as a learning experience for us, we’d also like it to be a learning experience for the kids.  So I put the boxes together, glued them, and put the nails where they needed to be, then the kids went to work.

 

 

By the end of the day, we had everything assembled and ready for the next phase… priming and painting.

Assembled supers
Ta-da!