Monday, January 26, 2015

Ant proof Platform and painted hives

The hives are now all painted and ready for occupancy.  I had to move the one that the bees were attracted to yesterday so I could paint it.  And the bees were looking for it several times today, circling that area and checking out the other hives sitting out.  They were also seen flying around the swarm lure/trap.

Lowes sells a rubber coupler 1 1/4 - 1/12 to 2" which worked nicely as a grease cup for the 3/4" galvanized pipe.  Plastic pipe insulation was used as a gasket to make up for the difference between 3/4 and 1 1/4".  The radiator clamp it came with cinched it up nicely so grease will soon be added to the outside of the pipe and into the cup to repel the ants.  The only thing still needed is a little umbrella type barrier positioned a few inches over the grease trap to keep debris and water out.  That will be fabricated from thin gauge aluminum I have in the garage.

 The two things about the platform I didn't expect.  The pipes move in the concrete which makes them less secure.  I found that out screwing in the tee's while tightening them onto the pipes that are embedded in concrete.  Not a real big deal. 

The platform is 14' long which may be a little bit too long.  I can always cut it back.  The 3/4" galvanized pipe seemed plenty strong when I started this project but with everything loaded up on the platform there is a very small amount of play.  1" or slightly larger would have been better but this will probably work fine.

Another lesson learned that I thought I learned long ago was to never buy cheap paint.  I bought a couple more colors for the hives and around the farm but they were a cheaper paint that the top quality paint I've been using.  Big difference.  Two coats were needed for everything where the other paint would do it perfect in one coat.  Do you really save money?  I don't think so.

Paint looks nice though.  Not traditional beekeeping white hives but we like a bit of color in our lives.  And the bees being mostly gals probably will appreciate the pastels.
Painted hives resting on their new ant proof platform

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