I recently purchased a new Pollination Box sold by Sugarbag Bees because i was interested in the design of the box. This box is designed with the purpose for crop pollination on farms. It’s a PVC construction and has no honey super top frame so isn’t intended for honey extraction.
The box is made from 25mm PVC board which makes each frames volume around 3 litres, making a total 6 litre box volume.. There’s a large piece of pine board in the base which is designed to draw moisture from the inside and breathe the moisture to the outside through a large hole in the base. There’s also a drain hole.
With regard to design, I like Tims boxes as they’re simple (the standard pine boxes as well as this pvc type). They’re just a box with some brood support bars. I think some boxes can be unnecessarily complicated and maybe the best design is the most simple?
I’ll be monitoring this colony/box closely so will open it occasionally while it’s getting established and add photos below to show/demonstrate the bees progress. Generally I wouldn’t recommend opening a colony regularly because you can cause damage to the honey and pollen pots and increase risk of pest attacks.
lets get some bees in!!!
Below: 20/07/2018 – Establishing bees in the bottom box. I’ve split one of my hives and used just the new empty white pollination bottom box. Later I’ll split this and put the white matching box on top to complete it.
Below: 06/11/2018 – Three months from the initial split. The brood is going well. Front of the box with the entry hole is at the left of the photo, showing plenty of stores, the back of the box on the right is still empty.
Below: 10/01/2019 – Roughly five months from the start. I opened the box up to reveal plenty of brood and resources. . A lot of the brood stayed together in the top section so i transfered some to the lower box and added the other half of the SugarBag Bees Pollination box.
Caution: Normal splitting times are 12 months. I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing a split shorter than 12 months unless you’re confident in what you’re doing. Every hive needs to be assessed and a judgment made of the development. The hives in my area have a great amount of resources and excellent conditions so develop quickly. I’ll be monitoring this closely and if i see a decline i can add brood, resources or bees. It’s been shown by some bee keepers that some Eduction/Budding hives have developed in four months so we know a hive five months old isn’t out of possibility. A good strong colony can build very quickly.
I placed the Pollination box back in the same position to collect the thousands of returning forager bees which will add to the colony strength.
Below – The colony is going very well and the entrance is always busy.
Update below 02/02/2020
I’ve placed this hive box inside one of the Outhouse boxes. Once it’s operating smoothly this box might be sent out to various places for display.
Update below 20/03/2020
The Pollination Box has now been placed inside a new Outhouse Box and is on display at Little Bees Secret Garden at Canungra Qld