Spring has sprung!

This weekend, with snow melting and uncovering most of our working land, we haven’t stopped moving! It’s safe to say, we had been itching for long days spent outside, getting our hands dirty again. And that’s exactly what we did.

You might remember from previous blog posts, the old rickety barn that always sat between the frame of the featured image above. Now replaced with a pile of rubble (they took it down for, as you can guess, safety reasons) – or how we see it, perfectly good lumber to use again, and forty-year-old hay to repurpose!

I’ve also spent time a good chunk of time turning over compost. Reworking it to add to our expanded garden beds this year, mixing it with manure-rich dirt from next door, and using unmarked cardboard to cover the entire larger growing space.

As you can see from the photo below, our original design was to frame the beds individually (the two beds up top). Though we have since changed our minds, and will now combine the remaining three on the left to look like the larger verticle bed on the right.

Expanding our growing space this season.

We also decided we’d finally tackle a project we’ve been talking about for weeks – building a new horizontal beehive.

Typically Beekeeping is done using a Langstroth system, which is a verticle stacking hive. This is what we inherited when we inherited our very first colony of bees and have since continued to use it. However, I’ve always had a few reasons to be curious enough to want to explore other options… which landed me on Dr. Leo Sharashkin’s website, Horizontal Hive.

He shared many benefits to this approach, but of course, as you can imagine – the thing I was most thrilled about, was not squishing any bees in the same way that I’d seen be done countless times! Plus, we’ll also be adding in a top piece, below the roof, so we don’t have to expose the whole hive every time we need to open it up or take a peek to see what’s happening inside the hive.

Building our first horizontal hive.

The photo above is what we managed to do so far. Most of the framework is done, though we’ll be reworking the notched bar that holds up the frames, using metal instead for its superior longevity. For more information on horizontal hives, I’d highly recommend checking out Michael Bush’s work too, over at Bush Farms.

Plus, another great thing – I was lucky enough to get to upcycle this sweet table base from TWR and it’s the perfect fit for the hive stand!

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