Monday, February 25, 2013

Hive Color

Zander is planning on assembling his 4 deeps and 4 supers this coming Sunday and I plan to take some pictures and share them.  We bought unassembled hive frames and he wants to paint them.  Here is a picture of one of the supers put together (still needs to be nailed or stapled together):
Traditional hives are painted white.  According to what we have read, white is used especially in warmer climates because it doesn't absorb as much heat from the sun and as a result the bees don't need to do as much work to cool off the hive.

Zander is planning to go with a light or pastel green.  Any other suggestions?  Here is what it might look like (done with Photoshop CS5):

So what is a super you ask?  A super is used to collect the honey the bees produce.  The supers are placed on top of the "deeps" or deep hive-bodies and are normally separated from the "deeps" with a queen excluder.  You generally start with a single deep which will eventually become the lower deep.  The lower deep is used by the bees as the nursery or brood chamber.  This is where they raise their young.  The upper deep will become the bees food pantry.  Each of the deeps contain 10 frames of honeycomb.  Everything the bees make in the lower and upper deep is for the bees to keep and will eventually help them get through the winter.  The queen excluder goes above the upper deep and the super sits on top of it.  As the name indicates, the queen excluder prevents the queen from moving up in the hive and creating brood chambers in the supers.  The worker bees can pass through the queen excluder into the supers and that is where the honey comes from that Zander will hopefully be able to harvest later in the year if all goes well.