After ordering our 300+ lbs of bee equipment it all arrived within two days. I expected a couple weeks at the earliest, regardless it got to sit in our basement for a solid month during the winter.
We assembled the hive components using wood glue and good old fashion nails. 7D galvanized nails to be exact. Too long or thick of nails can easily split the wood and overall we did a decent job in not damaging the boxes themselves. I didn't take any pictures of this process but if you strain your imagination you can probably make out a wooden box.
We had some trouble in getting some of the boxes to fit together properly. I’m unsure if they were cut incorrectly or warped in storage but we remedied this issue with some sandpaper and more glue. Assembly took quite a while as my work schedule and lack of motivation caused some delays but we were in no hurry to get these done. While picking up wood for the chicken coop we managed to grab some paint for the hives and overall I think they turned out very well.
Painting beehives is not needed, however, a nice coating of exterior paint or stain will let the wood hold up outside longer. Raw wood is likely to start warping and rotting fairly quickly without any protection. Only the exterior of the boxes need to be painted and color does not matter (keep in mind that darker colors will be hotter during the summer).
Each one of our beehive setups were given two coats of exterior paint. The entire process took about a week due to my 3rd shift schedule and only having space to paint one hive setup at a time.
Placement of the hives was an intense argument with myself. Katie did not seem to care but who wants to place these beauties in the incorrect spot? The hives benefit from morning sun, partial shade, low traffic areas, a water source, and protection from the wind.
Morning light promotes early activity each day, allowing the bees to start foraging early.
Partial shade keeps the hives cool (the color of paint also helps) during the summer.
A water source for the bees will be needed, this can range from a water bath to a nearby lake. Luckily we have several ponds nearby our yard.
Low traffic areas prevent potential screaming passerby's
Protection from direct wind will help during the winter and hopefully stop heavy winds from knocking your boxes over (rare).
I settled for a spot near our apple trees, providing a few hours of shade a day. There is lots of space around the hives for access and it is located at our backyard property line. The ground was leveled prior to installation and stone slabs for a base keep the hives themselves off the ground. I rototilled the surrounding area in order to kill the grass and hopefully plant some flowers in the immediate surrounding for some aesthetics.
After all of this our bee pickup date got delayed a week due to poor weather. An unfortunate event, I even took a week off of work to do yardwork and prepare for them.
Next up in the bee series, bee pickup and installation!