La Ruche Anatole

Jun 09, 2019

This hive is a hollowed log with a hexagonal section roof.

Anatole proposed to build a roof, which section would match the shape of a comb cell. The hexagon would fit the circular section of the log hive and the large volume of the roof would be filled with insulating fabric. The bottom of the hive is made of two layers of cypress: an inside floor tucked in a circular groove and an external bottom matching the bottom section of the log. The log was hollowed with a chain saw and the walls have been kept very raw, not even smoothened on the lower part, leaving many grooves for pseudoscorpions, if any, to hide. I guess it also creates shelters for small hive beetles.

The hive was peeled off its bark, torched  and recut in February 2019. It was set in the yard on a stand we built for the purpose. The roof is so cumbersome that there is no easy way to set it up in a tree, unless building a large platform.

On the evening of April 11, 2019, Phillip sent me a message about a swarm in his backyard, which I went to pick up (the word ‘give’ should be understood as ‘hive’ on my last answer). I had been scrambling for several hours hiving swarms as showers were forecast for the night. The swarm was poured from the top in the dark and it rained really hard that night. The colony remained small with little activity for 6 weeks, it was doubtful it would make it.

The video below was shot on June 8th, 2019 early morning when the bees start and fly out. Even if the colony is rather small, its chances of survival have increased tremendously.  The bees are dark and typical of these mongrel bees in the area, a mix of black bees and Italian bees. The mongrel bees do not build large colonies though. This hive is about 40 liters and probably a tad more spacious than what they find here. let us see whether it makes it over winter. It would bring genetic diversity.