I decided to take advantage of the fact that I have a clean slate to work with (my hives having died over winter) and fix some problems with my set-up. For one, as previously noted, I replaced my solid bottom boards with Varroa screens.
There were two other problems that needed fixing, though:
- The palette on which the hives rested was sagging.
- Because the hives are cramped into the northwest corner of my yard, one hive is shaded on the west by a neighbor’s garage and on the east by the first hive.
My solution was to prop the two hives up on cinder blocks, but stagger them vertically, so that the westernmost hive was higher than the eastern hive. That way, it will be above the shadow cast by the eastern hive in the morning.
I canted the cinder blocks (and thus the hives) slightly forward to encourage any rain to flow out the front and left enough room in the back to service the Varroa trays.
Now, all I need are some bees, and I just heard from David of the Whidbees that the arrival date is this Sunday.