Well, after a whole lot of fiddling with them, the hives are ready and waiting for their bees. My wife can be happy that she no longer has two large beehives on our back porch and I will no longer spend my evenings playing with them.
As I think I believe I have explained, we live in a condo in Chapel Hill, NC and there is no possibility of keeping my hives at our home. Luckily, when I asked the Orange County Beekeepers Assoc. for help finding a site for keeping bees I got multiple offers and found a place not too far away and in a beautify location. Today, the landowner was even nice enough to help me transport the hive to their new home.
The hives are in a beautiful wooded area. We placed them where they will get partial sun. There is some evidence that hives in full sun may do better fighting varroa mites and small hive beetles, but TBH have to worry about comb collapse too. Since the honeycomb is built free hanging (not in frames like in Langstroth hives), if the hive gets too hot or the comb gets to heavy, it can collapse. Newly built comb is the most vulnerable and it will get stronger as if gets older. If some honey comb collapses it can make a very large mess and set the hive back a good bit. Here in NC, the summers can get pretty hot so keeping the hives in partial shade seems like a good compromise. Hopefully the bees won’t have to work as hard keeping the hives cool, and as an added bonus I will get some shade while working with the bees too.
THe hives also need to be level so that the comb will be built straight down. The place where we were putting the hives was on a slight slope so we leveled the hives by digging and placing some cinder block pieces under the legs. After putting everything together and in place, the hives are not ready to have the bees added after I go and get them on Sat. 🙂 I’m excited!