First hive clean and move

So as the big day approached I was getting everything ready. I made 2 new hive floors, I’d bought new stands in November, I’d prepared empty brood boxes, supers full of frames and a plan. Well kind of a plan…

I knew what was involved in cleaning, I knew I wanted to put supers on, I’d worked out which frames I wanted to swap out due to irregular comb formation. The ones fully of honey, the last 2 in the hive were one ones in question.

So first change to the plan. I’d bought some hiveclean. As its not to be used when the bees are storing honey where it will be collected. So the supers could not go on today.

I got to the apiary about 12:30 (summer time today), and there was bright warm sun… but only 8°C. So… was I going to have change two be postponement to another day? The bees were not flying, surely a sign of ‘don’t even bother’. I busied myself watering the plants I put in the other week. Some had been lost when the local bunnies had dug them up. Not to eat as far as I can see, but either for fun or trying to use the hole I dug as a new warren entrance.

So, after arranging everything on the ground near the hives, I put the new stands, floors and brood boxes in place. I had decided to turn the entrance 90° in each case, so the entrance would not be north facing and in constant shade. To the east, for the morning sun, would have been my preference, but that pointed straight at someone else’s garden through a wire fence. So for now it is pointing west. In addition, with the original hives side by side, turning them both 90° would have one exiting right into the back of the other one, or at least into my back while I inspected the other one; so with this in mind I offset them, so they will be exiting up the left side of the first hive.