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Documenting 12 Flow Hive 2's in Bluebonnet, North Texas

I’m starting this topic out of encouragement from Faroe :-). I was one of the original crowdfunding persons back in 2015, at the time, I only purchased one hive. 2016, I purchased my second one.

Now, the campground called Bluebonnet in North Texas where I keep an RV, is wanting me to set up hives for them and teach/manage until they can take it over. There wanting to get the state tax exemption.

This is a huge jump for me. It should be fun and also a learning curve for me as well. I’m putting myself out there, please help me grow and give me positive/constructive feedback.

I know I’m going to be doing things probably a little controversial and or things that other document say I should not do, but part of that is learning and I do plan on documenting the outcome.

One of which is I do plan on setting up all 12 hives in one location. (See attached video) I do plan on creating a little park like set up so persons at the campground can learn and enjoy and see the hives. The hive set up will be in an arc, I’m creating a sundial. Something that when a person is within the ark of the hives set up and they stand in a certain location. It will tell them the time a day, I just think that will be just an additional pleasant surprise.

Having said that, there will be a number of hives, facing due north which I understand is something we all should avoid. There will be a number of hives that the entrances will be facing due east as well as due West. So over time I should be able to document how well some hives do over the others depending on their orientation.

This is some initial thoughts. Look for further post as development and learning curve continues

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It’s great to see you back Marty :sunglasses::+1: and so glad to hear you’re still into beekeeping, ahem! 12 hives does sound like a big jump and I wish you the best success. I hope you have some help too!

I think the sundial setup sounds fun & interesting. I guess the only reasons to worry about which way a hive faces are to minimize “trafffic accidents” with passersby getting bumped or stung, and excessive sun or shade. Don’t know if the latter is such a thing in Texas :sweat_smile:

Definitely get us some pics when you can - and I also expect to see some very clever honey jar labels for this :rainbow::cherry_blossom::honeybee:

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Hi Martie, it sounds like a great project. When you say “Having said that, there will be a number of hives, facing due north which I understand is something we all should avoid”, it’s important to understand why it’s something to be avoided.

My understanding would be to avoid cold wind blowing into the hive’s entrance. If that’s the case, it would be easy to attach a physical barrier to the hive, in order to avoid that.

An alternative would be to reverse those hives, so that the entrances face more south.

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This is similar to what I’m planning on doing. Each number on the top side would be where a hive would sit. the area that the bees would be flying in and out of is on the outer side where you see the kids sitting. I would be working the hives from the center where the young man is standing casting a shadow.

I was not thinking the issue was the wind. That I can definitely fix by putting a small screen as you indicated.

This is why I don’t mind posting and putting myself out there, for people like yourself have knowledge and provide positive information, thank you. I like this a lot more than know you should not do it I like knowing why.

I was thinking the reason is, the bee’s needed to have their interests have sun on it, not the wind, good point again thank you.

28%20AM

This link below helps explain what I’m doing and a lot more detail
http://www.sunclocks.com/pics/fs-015.htm

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I received all 12 Flow Hives today. Distribution center apparently is out of Memphis Tennessee, FedEx center. Placed the order on Wednesday I think it might’ve been Thursday received them today i.e. Tuesday. regardless great team nice turnaround

I was part of the original crowdfunding in 2015. Thoroughly impressed today with their packaging. All woodwork came in a single box for one entire flow hive body kit. packaged very nicely. The actual flow frames came in a separate box. This team has really grown into a class A business. Glad to see their success.

Just the small details really make the difference. The paper they have separating the different parts looks like old newspaper print but it’s got all the flow frame information all over it really nicely done. Everything is packaged separately you’re not confused on the pieces and parts.

I was impressed with the original crowdfunding packaging, but they’ve taken it to a whole new level with this one. Absolutely second to none

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Getting everything put together this week and early next. Will be hot dipping wax all the woodworking parts. Additionally I will be painting the roof. Here is an article on wax dipping your hives.

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What a great update - very excited for your project Marty & how nice to hear that Flow is thriving :raised_hands:

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I got the entire box put together, one of them :slight_smile: just in that little bit of process of putting it together. I learned so much. Likely on box 9 or 10 I will produce a video i.e. un-boxing and putting together. I will be making a suggestion to flow frame on a few things they may want to change or include. To help them boxing and putting together process. Not 100% necessary at all for their instructions paperwork labeling is phenomenal. I really commend them for a nice job. Even a little block that you hold in place, to place the roof front to back correctly. It’s those little things that mean a lot, more so than the big stuff that may have been missed. I don’t see anything missed though. That really impresses me. For just the information on the box that everything came in, talks about the material of the box is made out of and how you could use it or discarded an appropriate manner. Very much environmentalist company. It is very apparent they care about this planet and their customers.

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Well I put all the boxes together. Everything except the plastic pieces, including the level glass. Which is plastic. I removed all that because everything would will be dipped in hot wax next weekend. I will be painting the roofs, each a different color. Then adding the plastic pieces. Likely setting everything up on the property. The following weekend and then installing the bees. Hopefully by April 15 or so. Here are the 12 hives boxes.

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If the entrances are set up north then the viewer misses the activity of the bees flying in and out of the hive. Perhaps it’s just me but I really enjoy watching that activity. Just an observation. :smile:

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Agree, two things I thought about while thinking about the layout.

  1. What was convenient for me. And working all 12 of these hives and trying to teach the residents of the campground to maintain them themselves, because ultimately they will take over the inspection activities. With us all working the backside of the hive and standing in close proximity of each other. We can help each other out at all. Learn together
  2. People feeling comfortable, that’s what I’m trying to do. They can start out by standing on the backside of the hive and the inner area and as they feel comfortable they can walk around the front. I would think, if they’re all facing toward the middle and all the bees are flying at you, someone would feel more uncomfortable. This way they can stand on the backside of the hive get up close and watch them fly, and then as they get comfortable, learn to walk around.
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That’s an amazing pic, Marty - all those beautiful Flow hives standing ready! I hope you take some vids of your setting-up process and send to Flow folks, as for me I intend to come check it out in person and take a dip in that lovely pool :sweat_drops::wink::+1:

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How about a video of you in the pool, or is that a bridge too far. Come on Martha and Dawn, I’m sure you can try to convince Eva.:sunglasses::thinking::hugs::blush:

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Maybe the spacing of the hives will be spread out more than you realized via the position of the sundial? I’m excited for you and this creative venture.

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My spacing is going to be so that it is 2 feet between each hive. So I could do a switcheroo if necessary and the bees will go back to the same location. I really do not want people walking between the hives. I will have an electric fence all the way around the set up so that animals can’t get close. I do plan on putting the electric fence about 5 or 10 feet in front of hive entrance. This will also help maintain a distance for the two legged animals as well. The electric fence will only be about a 1 1/2 or 2 feet high at the Max so the two Leggett animals could step over it :slight_smile:

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You first, Peter - cannonball!!

By the time you get here. The water should be warm. I can turn on the heater if you would like :slight_smile: more the merrier.

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Just keeping everyone posted. Just updated wax dipped everything yesterday. Big process, because once pulled the hive roof out of the wax it needed to be painted according to the instructions. While everything was really hot. Painted the roofs with the white oil-based paint then immediately painted it with the color you see here, water base latex. Everything I’ve read says it’ll work mixing the two, crossing my fingers. If nothing else, the oil-based white paint will give a good base to keep the other color working. The article that I followed for painting is an above post. Waxing, been doing for a few years now with my mentor. He has set up. Just please know that AFB spores can be eliminated/killed by really hot dipping beehives and wax. As opposed to burning everything. Not that I have problems just good to know. Additionally good to know that possibly spores cannot be even placed in a wax dipped hive box.

Nevertheless, here is the roof tops.

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It looks great! That’s so exciting!