March 19th and 20th

By tadgeobrien, 19 March, 2020

So the 19th was a pretty boring day. The weather was really crummy and overcast so it was really a stay in day. Started out the morning as normal with feeding the cat and the sourdough starter. Then off to work and answering emails and helping people out where I can online. I checked in on my class as well and noticed at least a few students had logged in and started on their assignment. So that was promising. I finished up at work and then read a bit more and watched some Youtube. I am realizing more and more how much I miss being at work and interacting with the students.

The 20th was a lot of the same at the start. More students checked in class and I was informed that I hadn't posted the video with the initial post like I thought I had, so I posted it and checked to see what the students had done. More kids had started their assignment and a few turned it in. I was quite impressed with some and shared them with Kat. That is a mistake as I was then required to add all of her comments. Though I think the students will think that is funny. After making sure I had wrapped up with school I decided that I was going to work outside today, even though it was overcast most of the day the temperature had risen so it made sense to be outside.

I started by building two simple feeder frames designed to be able to add some food for the bees in the spring, since I don't know if they have enough honey left to eat, and I am trying not to let them starve. These are just simple inch and a half tall square that go on top of the hive so that I can add some food for the bees.

After that I took the time to build a queen castle. Basically the idea is to take a 10 frame Langstroth hive and split it into 4 equal parts and put in dividers. So I grabbed my tools and worked on figuring out the best way to tackle this. First I cut a piece of plywood and attached it to the bottom of the box. Then it was time to work on dividing the box. Since it is older inherited equipment I had to use some hand tools to cut out the dado where I was going to put the dividers. After some sawing and careful use of my chisel I had three slots cut equally in the box that a piece of Masonite would fit in. I then cut three pieces of Masonite in a pattern that would fit in the slots. Since I was using my band saw and free handing these pieces I wasn't quite straight with my cuts but the bees are usually pretty forgiving. Once I had things cut I simply slide everything together tuning anything that was a little tight with a piece of sand paper. Once the inside was done I just had to add a few holes for the bees to enter, making sure that they are on opposite sides of the box. With my holes drilled I marked out where to place the new handles on the box and then brought it inside so I can slap some paint on it. With that all done I brought my tools back inside.

I also am planning on going out to the bee yard this week so I grabbed some of my boxes and put them in the car. I have everything to set up one of the new hives and am also hoping that I can start to layout some of the other hives since the goal is to build the numbers this year. I am hoping that even though it is supposed to rain tomorrow that it will hold out for a while so I can get in and check on the bees a little more than I have been able to so far. Regardless being outside will be a nice break. Still isolated which is still so weird to think about.