Spring is the time to get the new Bee Hive set up, so I spent a couple of hours this afternoon making ‘starter strips’ for the frames in my Warré style hive.
Whats needed is a wax strip approximately 25mm x 270mm about 1.5mm thick. This strip is the foundation that the bees draw their own wax comb from. I have seen a few different methods to produce a wax strip – from using cardboard glued in place with melted wax, to building a wax strip on a piece of 20mm wide timber then cutting it off with a hot knife. I decided on my own idea and that is to paint layers of wax onto grease-proof paper then cut the strips once the wax had cooled and hardened. The strips are then set in place by painting one layer of hot wax to each side of the strip once mounted in the top bar. It worked really well and involved melting beeswax in a cooking pot on the stove in my kitchen.
Here’s the great part to my story. As I was working away I heard a low buzzing behind me, unlike the annoying fast paced buzz from a blowfly, this buzz made me turn to see what was creating it. To my suprise and delight it was a honey bee! She had entered my kitchen possibly attracted by the scent of beeswax and hovered over the area I was working for 20 seconds or so. I said hello to her and followed her to the window where I let her out.
For me this is a very nice omen and I hope that once I set up the Beehive on site that it will attract a swarm as easily as it did this lone honey bee.
It was a lovely moment.