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The Horizontal Log Hive - 3-Month Update

This colony has been so joyfully industrious this summer ! They have been a wonder to be with and to watch.

I used a hollow log to build a hive for a swarm this year.  The log is about 5 feet long, about 2' in diameter, and has a hollow core that is about 14" in diameter (so the walls are 4 or 5 inches thick).  I put an access panel on one end, and three screened vent holes on the same end.  (The bees have shown me that they will typically propolise the screens to control the amount of ventilation that moves through the hive.)  This is what it looked like while waiting for a swarm:

A swarm began occupying this cavity in the first half of May.  No colonies had previously occupied it, so there was no comb to start with.  As the swarm moved in, I laid a full deep frame of capped honeycomb on the bottom of the inside of the log, at the end furthest from the access panel you can see in the photo above.

Here's what the inside of the log looked like right after the swarm moved in:

The next video shows the comb they had built after just one week.  Even though I had intended to remove the frame after they had consumed or moved the honey, they had already attached their comb to the frame, so it became a permanent artifact inside the log.

And the video below shows how much comb they had built after just six weeks.

Recently, after a time away, and after 3 months had passed since the colony began occupying this hive, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of coming and going at the end of the log - where the screened vent holes are - as well as at the main entrance.

The bees were now clearly using what had been the screened vent holes as additional entrances.

I removed the access panel and shot some photos inside the hive.  Rather than propolising the screened vent holes, they had chewed through the nylon screens and opened them up to provide additional entrances.  Obviously, this is what they wanted.

Finally, I also noticed that they had built comb a full three-quarters of the length of the hive.

I've loved having this colony as part of my "Bee Loud Glade."


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  • RIchard on

    Beautiful thanks for your time in showing these wonderful bees


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