We are preparing for the homecoming of the beehives from the orchard. This involves
(i) me reviewing the hives and hive parts I have, and deciding - as usual - that I could really do with a few more <insert item here>...in this case rooves, floors, queen excluders, a section rack and notebooks. Such stock-taking and kit preparation ought to be a winter activity, but the imminent arrival or expansion of one's bees really focuses the mind, so here I am doing it at the height of the beekeeping season along with everybody else, when prices are high.
Excitingly, homecoming preparations also involve
(ii) my husband building hive stands to our bespoke design in the new apiary. Chosen to be at optimal height and aspect, so that the sun is behind me when viewing the frames, and sturdy enough to support weighty beehives with no fear of rocking or being knocked over by an exuberent hound, these are vastly better than the rickety little stands that I built before from on-line purchased kits.
Like other kit, hives stands would ideally be designed and built during the winter. But they weren't, obviously. Notably, the very worst time and place to build hive stands is a hot summer's day when you are a hayfever sufferer surrounded by long polleny grass. Husband likes building things, but he also likes being able to breathe through his nose and not constantly sneezing and rubbing pollen from his eyes, so extra thanks to him for building these magnificent stands under challenging conditions.