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Little Bee Hive

A cache by MR Abe Normal Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 04/26/2009
1 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

A cache about honey bee homes!

Humans have kept honeybees for hundreds of years and hunted honey for thousands of years. Our relationship with the honeybee is a complex one but important to our specie's current food requirements. Initially, man hunted for honey bee nests in trees and stole the honey. Eventually they stole the tree, took the hive portion home, and learned to take only some honey to keep the colony alive as well. Soon the honeybee was even more understood and man could divide colonies by catching swarms and placing them in man-made cavities like hollow logs (gum hive), straw baskets (skep hive), or clay pots. Honey and larvae (yes, people ate that, too) became more abundant to the human diet but still required severe harm or death to the honey bee colony. It wasn't until the year 1851 that an American reverend discovered a practical solution that no longer harmed the honeybees and revolutionized beekeeping forever.

Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth is considered the "Father of American Beekeeping." Rev. Langstroth was born December 25, 1810 and died October 6, 1895. He was first a clergyman and teacher, but is best known as a beekeeper.

Honeybees are extremely hygienic and orderly creatures. They tend to cover surfaces with propolis (sterile) and build comb into every available nook and cranny available to them. L. L. Langstroth noticed a uniformity in how the honey bee built its comb and, after some experimentation, discovered "bee space". Bees will build comb no deeper than allows a space of 1 cm from the opposite surface. This happens to be the amount of space required for two bees to work comfortably back-to-back.

So, by building woodware to allow for this, Langstroth developed the Moveable Frame Hive. With a moveable frame hive, each honey comb is surrounded by a wooden frame and, because they're spaced based on "bee space", the bees don't glue the frames together or build comb between frames. This allows a beekeeper to remove a frame, examine it, and replace it without harming any bees or their labours.

The Langstroth Hive is based on a box that contains 10 frames and is open on the top and bottom. The different parts of the hive are stacked to form a column that starts with a bottom board and is closed on top by a lid. The size and composition of the entire structure can be altered to allow for growth during abundance periods and reduced for winter dormancy. The Langstroth hive is still the most commonly used bee equipment used today. Many places (including Ontario) have made it illegal to keep bees in any container that does not use moveable frames as part of their bee protection policies.

The cache is not at the posted coordinates. To find this cache, complete the following:

45 18.(how old was L.L. Langstroth when he discovered bee space?)N

074 38.(how old was L.L. Langstroth when he died + 650)W

There's about 40 meters of light bushwhacking to GZ. Once you're done, please think like a beekeeper and, after closing up things the way you found them, place the stone back on the lid to avoid gusty wind removal.

This cache is one of several on the Glengarry Trail System.

Congrats to Inkyfiller for being the FTF!

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

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