Yard Report – Introduction
There’s more to my little beeyard than just starting 5 new colonies. This yard was started with conventional all small cell equipment. Eventually, the hives will be transitioned into a more natural looking broodnest using conventional equipment.
Along the way, I’ll report what I observe in these Yard Reports.
A Little History
After I lost all my hives to Colony Collapse Disorder, I was left with lots of empty, virus contaminated equipment. Other beekeepers, in the same situation, found that only gamma irradiation allows the equipment to be used again.
So, I was out of luck. No irradiation facilities anywhere near here. All that new equipment was trash!
I let it set for a season, rather than taking it to the dump. Then I remembered how, in my youth, we handled diseased hives. The frames were destroyed. But the woodenware was scraped. Then it was scorched and reused again. Now I had a plan. And nothing to loose but my time.
So, the woodenware was scraped and scorched. Then it was dipped in a Clorox solution for good measure. Now I had woodenware without frames.
Years ago, while still bee wrangling, I’d tried small cell beekeeping and was impressed with the results. So, attempting to adapt the process to conventional commercial beekeeping, I’d purchased several cases of small cell sized plastic frames from Mann Lake. And I still had them. So why not use them?
It’s been a decade since my first small cell experience. Why revisit it? Back then, my experience was from a commercial beekeeper’s perspective. Today, as a natural beekeeper, my perspective is different. And I’m bound to see and learn something new. I’m 10 years wiser. Right? 🙂
And I hope to optimize natural concepts for beekeepers using conventional beekeeping equipment. Beekeeping based on natural comb might not be feasible for someone starting up a 1000 hives and needing the flexibility of a frame based system with readily available, commercially produced components. Yes, even with plastic frames. 🙂
In these reports, small cell beekeeping jargon is used for consistency. But the use of that jargon in no way endorses those concepts. Their are some negative implications associated with small cell beekeeping.