Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor - August 2014
I was so pleased to see the June issue of American Bee Journal with a beautifully painted hive on the cover. When I travel in Europe I like to visit other beekeepers and I noticed that so many of their hives were painted in pretty pastel colors or designed to look like small houses or had interesting hive roofs. I thought this was a good idea. I decided to create a beautiful beehive roof that looked like ones I had seen in Paris. But how?
I remembered an old friend who was the metals conservator for the Park Service. He was immediately interested in the challenge of designing and building a cover. Because he is a beekeeper, he knew the best way to build a roof that worked. The photo attached is our version of a beautiful beehive. It complements our urban perennial garden. It has a copper roof handmade by Bart Rogers, who is shown in the second photo building the skeleton for the hexagonal hive cover.
I think decorating their beehives is starting to be a trend with urban American beekeepers. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing to us, we think it helps the neighbors accept our bees by making the hives beautiful to look at.
If other beekeepers are interested in having one or more of our hive covers, my website is: beautifulbeehives.com
For the Birds!
In early May, I placed a bait hive under one of my trees, the same location where I had scout bees checking it out two years ago.
The bait hive is on top of a six foot ladder. It is a medium hive box with enclosed top, and bottom with a one-inch entrance hole. I baited it with three old drawn out combs, and a cotton ball with a few drops of lemongrass oil (a honey bee attractant that simulates the Nasonov pheromone).
I check the bait hive periodically to see if there are interested scout bees. Today, June 8, I noticed a bird flying away from the bait hive. Curious, I put my ear to the box, and heard baby birds chirping inside. Fortunately, my hives have not swarmed, and found another home since my bait hive was already occupied.