That’s what it takes to house about 80,000 homeless bees.  In order to get the best value, we ordered unassembled hive parts for our participating beekeepers.

Since I live in a somewhat central location to our participating beekeepers, I offered our house as an assembly IMG_0130station for seven Grow Appalachia gardeners who are getting started with bees this year.  It was a little startling to unload armload after armload of whIMG_0133  at looked like kindling pieces from the truck when the hive parts arrived and more than a little daunting how they filled the room in stacks.

Fortunately one of our participants has done this before and he was patient enough to show me how to put together the pieces of the puzzle until I felt confident enough to show others.  We have had several assembly “parties” and we are getting the system down pretty well.   With the help of my husband’s drill press, we have made some refinements to the process.

We found that predrilling 2 of the frame pieces makes the hammering go a lot faster.  In my spare time I run over to the machine and crank out as many little holes as possible to get ready for the next assembly party. IMG_0144 (We need 1,920 holes.) IMG_0058

When our bees arrive at the end of the month their homes will be glued, nailed, waxed, painted, supported, and welcoming.  We’ve all got feeders to keep them energized until there is enough nectar and pollen to support the growing colonies   So I am not making the same offer to store the bees in our spare room when they get here.