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Hive Maintenance

Care of equipment increases the useful life at little or no cost

Over the years, I have seen some hives in a very sorry state, simply because they have not been well looked after, "hive abuse", I call it. In general, the quality of equipment from U.K. suppliers is exceptionally good, although I have seen a small amount of very poorly made equipment - usually from some of the many small outfits that start up in the "good times". To have a tree grow for many years, in a natural or managed forest, cut it down to make beehives, with the resulting waste and cost to the planet, then let it rot or fall to pieces due to neglect in a very much shorter time than it took to grow in the first place is difficult for me to understand. I hate waste.

I am a practical chap and am able to repair things when they need it. Much of my equipment is home made from whatever wood I can scrounge, or given to me and repaired. Even hives made from softwood will last a long time if well cared for.

The care of equipment is something that is forgotten in these days of the throw-away society, but I have some hives that are well in excess of 60 years old. I can tell that because of the manufacturers name tags, either their design or the manufacturer went out of business that long ago. I know of a family of commercial beekeepers, where the vast majority of their kit is a similar age - or older than mine. All that has happened is the hives have been kept fairly dry, had bees in them, repaired when needed and treated - they are valued.

Roger Patterson.

Page created 08/07/2013

Page updated 31/12/2022