Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bees at the Flower Show

An exhibit that really caught my eye as a beekeeper was presented by The DCTS Landscape Program and The Chester County Beekeepers Association. It's shaped like a giant beehive!

Inside was an educational display of a bee suit and some nice photographs. It was all very well presented. They get a big A for effort. But the information wasn't quite there. There could have been more but I suppose it's a great thing they didn't make it text heavy. Even so, I was still over joyed to see this.

Outside were nice displays of beehives. There were some plants behind these too but sadly my pictures of them didn't turn out. (I had that problem all over the show.) Black-Eyed Susans were one of the plants that I recall.

For those of you soon to be beekeepers, this picture may help. One thing I always get
asked about "what does a beehive look like" or "how does it work?" The larger boxes here (in the middle) are called Deeps. A new package of bees needs just one of these to live in. Eventually you'll have to add a second Deep on top of that. After that though you add smaller Supers, the small box on top of that. Regardless of how boxes you have though there's always a bottom board (the lowest part) and an inner cover, and telescoping cover (top).

The plastic bit between the Deeps and the Super is a Queen Excluder. This is optional. The queen bee will lay eggs in the middle of all these boxes and surprisingly maintains a sphere within the boxes. She rarely moves up above the two Deeps but occasionally she'll move up to the super. Queen Excluders come in handy becuase you can't take honey from any of the frames that have brood on them.

There was also a small observation hive there. However, I wasn't impressed. The only frame on display had no honey on it, no brood, or anything. There were just some bees in there.