Here at Mendip the hives,as the picture shows,are situated,more or less,in a row in front of the trees which border the meadow.To minimise the risk of drifting,the hives on each stand are set to face in different directions and I have to say,I’ve not noticed any one hive building up in numbers at the expense of it’s neighbour . Having the hives facing different directions,certainly in my case,seems to have avoided the problem.
As you can see, the hives are set on three stands, each stand having three hives.The stands measure some ten feet in length, two feet in width and stand some sixteen inches off the ground.They are of slatted construction and have, incidently, all been made with reclaimed timber.I find these dimensions ideal as there is plenty of room between the hives to allow for manipulations without the need for piling hive parts on the ground around me.I stated the stands have been made using reclaimed timber and you’ll see as we go along,that most of the kit I’ve made falls into this catagory,this with the exception of the hives which are all of Western Red Cedar.
My advice here and now is,always purchase the best you can afford when obtaining hives,anything less is in my opinion,false economy.To the left of the hive stands is my shed. This houses the items which I’m most likely to have an immediate need for.There can be nothing more frustrating than finding that something which you need urgently is not within easy reach,so having a shed close by is a real plus and one that I would highly recommend.The shed is also on a stand.I’m convinced that having kit which you are going to have to access regularly,raised above the ground make life so much easier,it’s certainly kinder on the back.So,that pretty much describes the set-up here at Mendip.In addition there is a Solar wax extractor a Nuc.stand and a Bait hive about which I have say has thus far, only succeeded in attracting the attention of a pair of amourous Blue-tits.”How sweet” I hear you say. I’ll be describing the extractor and other bits and pieces in more detail as we go along.