Building The Emerald Tower






I went and bought my new hive body today! I decided to go with the wired frame route because it saved me $30 and the bees have never enjoyed drawing wax on foundation. The only wired frame I’ve had for the last few years has always been readily drawn out, and they fill it in perfectly every time. I bought the frames without foundation and put the wires in myself. Here’s a few pictures! 

photo 1 photo 2

The guy who sold me the box and frames wanted me to buy some rivets for the holes, but it didn’t make any sense for me to buy them because the wood is sturdy enough on its own. Plus there were way more rivets than I needed and it was just going to be one more thing to have sitting around the house. He also thought I was crazy for trying to use a deep box as a super. To me it just makes more sense to have all of the frames the same size, so that I can move things around easier and not have a bunch of different sized boxes sitting around. The bees have only ever filled up the lone super I have in the 4 years I’ve been beekeeping. They take forever to draw it out, and it never fills up completely like the two deep boxes do. Having three deep boxes is going to allow me to pull the honey frames that are clogging the brood space out, and put them up where they can encourage more growth and allow for new wax to be drawn out. The wax that I have currently is all very old and a dark black color. I’ve been putting off removing it because it took forever to get it drawn. Depending on how successful the wires are, I might just replace all of my foundation with wax.

I put two coats of green paint on the new deep box today, as well as wiring the frames. I’ll wait until this weekend (potentially later depending on my work schedule) to put the new box on the hive. I decided to paint the box green because technically its illegal to keep bees on my lot, since I live in the city and my lot is “too small” to keep bees on. White is a boring color and stands out noticeably in a garden; green blends in and is also much darker, which will help keep the hive warmer during the winter. I’ll have to wait to repaint the other hive bodies, but that’s alright.

The weather has been excruciatingly hot lately, with temps up in the 80s and 90s for the last week and a half. And things are only supposed to get hotter. A large group of bees vacated the hive for an hour today when it got really hot; spending their time flying around and congregating around the entrance. Most all of them landed in the end, but they all remained out on the front step where it was slightly cooler, despite being in the full sun. I’m hoping I’ll have lots of honey by the time fall rolls around! This weather is perfect for ripening nectar.

I’ll post some pics once I get the new hive body up! The color I chose was called ‘Emerald Tower’ which I thought was fitting since that’s what the hive will look like once it’s all painted. 



4 responses to “Building The Emerald Tower”

  1. deweysanchez says :

    I have a foundationless framed hive and I don’t use wire. I use a small foundation starter strip. If I am inserting frames between drawn frames I won’t even use that. Is the wire to support the wax in the heat you get or so you can use a centrifugal extractor?

    • willowbatel says :

      I guess I didn’t really think about why I was using wires in the frames. I wanted to make sure they were sturdy enough that I could manipulate them without fear of breaking them. I also didn’t want to have a lot of large empty space in the hive, and hoped the wires would sort of discourage the bees from drawing out wax in weird shapes.

  2. bdbatta says :

    I’ve used the foundationless frames both ways. They both work. Instead of wire I use fishing line. It will work somewhat in an extractor but not great.

    Also I use all deeps. This is by far the way to go.

    • willowbatel says :

      I use a fruit press for an extractor. I like being able to change out the wax every year and it makes extracting a lot less complicated/messy I think.
      I think if there was one thing I could go back and tell myself before I started beekeeping, it would be to get everything the same size!

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