And yet this blog has managed to accumulate (up to) 30 followers! Incredible really, but it just goes to show how many of you courageous folk are, or might be, interested in keeping some of these little chaps.
Firstly an explanation is in order (no shit! Ed.)
Being a tight arse, I decided that this wing to the allotment-smallholding plot would be done on the cheap. Ok, I'd forked out for a decent suit (bloody brilliant actually) and the rest of the stuff like smokers, tools, (white wellies ROFL Ed.), but I built my own hives and was due to take delivery of some of my neighbours bees last year, for free.
Well. I had some health crap kicking off, the guy (G.) with the bees had his own business trauma to deal with, and before I knew it, it was winter and no bees. After the dust had settled it was cold and wet. Not a good time to be prising off lids and poking around in a bee hive. Gotta keep them warm and quiet over winter.
Here I am now though, in March, and (f**k me Ed.) I have taken delivery of my very first colony of honey bees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just like that!
|Miracle (with trees...)|
This particular hive had no super on it. It was just a brood box that had a feeder on top of it over winter. So the deep brood frames (all of this will be explained to those with even less knowledge than I have about this stuff) were full of stores and new brood waiting to hatch. Amazing. And wonderful to see these industrious creatures already banging away at collecting food. Awesome.
|New apiary - with new apple trees!|
There's a rule with moving bee hives. Moving up to 2 feet at a time is ok. Or over 3 miles is ok. But in between is a no-no. Bees have some kind of sophisticated map of the location of their hive. They use key geographical markers as waypoints in getting back to base like a tree or a shed or anything that has a bearing on getting back safe and laden with nectar, often after a foraging trip miles away from the hive. Move the hive too far and the bees will just go back to were the hive 'used' to be and, well, expire I suppose.
Now this hive was moved more than 2 feet and considerably less than a mile so some of the older bees will have made thier way back to where the hive used to be. But G. placed another hive in its place so hopefully they have gone in there and started another colony. The remaining bees (the younger ones that have not yet left my hive or were about to) have been in and out of their new home all day gathering resources. I watched 'em. I could have sat there and watched 'em all day. One landed on my hand and said hello to his new Dad.
This is going to be the start of a wonderful relationship.
Tomorrow I will start and get my brand-spanking new bee hive set up and begin transferring the bee-laden frames over to that. G. can have his old hive back and then - I'm in business!