Just before installing colonies in new hives I go out and harvest the detritus that I put in each new eco-floor. My goal is to duplicate, as closely as possible, the micro-ecology that exists in the bottom of a hollow tree cavity; the kind of cavity that wild honey bee colonies choose to live in.
This year I found a huge, dead, rotting stump. The stump was about 4 feet tall and 4 feet in diameter. It had been a huge tree before it died and fell over. The wood was so soft, rotten, and punky that I was able to pull it apart with my hands and harvest the gold mine of detritus on the inside. I filled two barrels with it:
Back at the apiary, I filled each eco-floor with the material:
While dumping the material into this eco-floor, I discovered that I had inadvertently "harvested" an old Smirnoff bottle as well:
I decided to leave it in there!