Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Framed and Floored

So what happens in the northern beekeeping realm after all the bees have shipped south for the winter?

Making new equipment of course.

Initially I was thrilled to hear, "we have a bunch of new equipment to build".

Then this translated into 3,000 deep-or brood-frames. 

Frames parts consist of a top bar, a bottom bar, and two side pieces.  each top and bottom bar has to be attached, in our case, stapled with a pnematic air gun, and glued, to the side pieces.

Then plastic foundation is snapped into each frame, and each frame gets a counter staple on each side.

I was a bit apprehensive, since I once had a job at a woodworking shop assembling wooden windowboxes, and we were supposed to meet a quota of so many an hour, and I had a penchant for blowouts, whereupon the person at the receiving end had to fix the nail jutting out.

Now I had the pleasure of being under the tutelage of a college attending employee on winter break, and we got into a bit of competitve mode.  She made 18 perfect frames in 8 minutes.  I followed with 18 in ten minutes with two minor blowouts.  Since my "quota" was 40 in an hour, things were looking good.

Until days stretched to weeks and I woke each morning to a half hour drive at sunrise to staple frames all day arriving home at sunset....the days are supposed to be getting longer, and they certainly appeared to be never ending, frames after frames after frames....

I recognized I certainly am a victim of ADHD, because I would have cheerily stapled my hand to relieve the endless monotony of standing in the same place doing the same thing.

Luckily for me, my outdoor kitty co-worker, who normally did whatever he could do to avoid doing anything involving work, took a shine to the repetition.  he stapled perfectly.  I assembled, he stapled, we listened to the radio and disagreed about every song, (he being a semi professional musician, and me having extensive music recording experiece, but favoring different genres), but we still banged out the frames.

Then the boss reappeared and put J back on a picky little task and stuck me solo on frames, which was a disasterous combination, as I grew grumpier and grouchier by the day while he sauntered in and out to the woodshop pretending to cut wood for his project.

Finally the day arrived that Boss and J left together to join the other J in Georgia, leaving me to start assembling hive pallets.

Boss went over the dimensions prior to leaving, sketching out a few drawings.  My eyes lit up.  I am the type of person if you ask me for directions I have to draw you a map. I love architectural drawing.  My job was to build jigs for pallets, and then the pallets.

Boss left me to the jigs and proceeded to rip up enough pressure treated two by fours and 1 inch stock to make 100 pallets.  The jigs are done and two proto type pallets are finished. 

Just 98 pallets to go.

*wanders off singing, off key, "98 pallets of bees on the wall, 98 pallets of bees....*

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