Here we are, still in the midst of winter and not wanting our bees to be particularly active. We were good stewards and were sure to leave them what seemed to be ample amounts of honey for their use, but we still don’t want them deciding to start flying around and being busy before the pollen and nectar start to be available again.
Certainly the last thing we wanted to do this time of year deal with having to repair our beehive. Thankfully it’s a simple little DIY type of fix.
As it happens the weather loves to mess with bees just as much as it loves to toy with us. In this case the weather warmed for a few days and the bees wanted to be out and about. That’s not altogether a horrible thing. The real issue is that the changing weather affected their hive as well.
Busted Hive Body
The actual hive body – the “brood deep”, if you like – has warped. A local person built our hives and used a very simple join for the corners. A combination of this construction and the changing weather caused the side board to warp out – created a gap for the bees.
This gap is now causing some problems. The opening gives and entry for light and cold air – something the bees are not happy about. That means they want to cover it up with propolis. And, of course, they can’t do that without being active.
Bees collect resin from various types of trees – a resin that is generally only produced when it’s a bit warmer outside. So, not only are they out collecting resin, but they’re likely doing a lot of searching to find it – expending even more energy.
What’s more is that this is our bottom hive body – it splitting apart isn’t just an inconvenience for the bees – it is a structural problem. Should the side of this beehive fall off we would likely lose our whole colony. We can’t have that.
So how are we going to fix it? It is too cold outside to start disassembling the hive and rebuilding the box or even replacing it with another one, like the one you see on the ground in the video. We can’t risk putting a screw in the sides to pull the hive together as we’ll likely just split the wood.
The solution we came up with is to use a ratchet strap to bring the hive body back together and hold it in place until we can replace the hive later this spring. The solution was not only simple, but effective.
I hammered the staples in as far as I could get them, but they wouldn’t go all the way. That turned out to be okay because then the ratchet strap brought it back together the rest of the way – or at least most of the way. Enough so that the bees will no longer be using it for an entrance and whatever propolis they’ve already collected will have sealed off the draft and light.
Do you have to do impromptu DIY repairs like this to your beehives as well? Let us know below!