There was a buzz here at Honeybuns with the arrival of our first colony of bees…
Local Beekeeper Jacqui Neary is using our wonderful wild meadow to house her Honeybees.
On a lovely warm day at the start of May Jacqui arrived with her bees tucked up in Nuc boxes. With great care and a touch of smoke to calm her majesty the Queen and her entourage, they soon moved into the chic accommodation provided for them.
As Jacqui explained to us,
“A nuc consists of 6 frames of bees including the Queen. These frames must be placed in the hive in the same order as they were in the nuc box and then have 4 to 5 frames added to fill the bottom layer of the hive. This bottom box is called the brood box and is where the Queen will stay and lay new eggs and the bees will rear the baby bees.
They have been fed syrup for a couple of weeks to keep them well fed, but now the weather is good they are growing fast and settled in.
Once they have filled the frames in the brood box, I will be adding the next layer to the hive. This is called a super’ and is were the bees will take the pollen and make the honey that hopefully we will harvest later in the year. I shall be doing this in the next week or so.”
“During the next few months I will be doing a hive inspection every 7-10 days. This is to check everything is okay in the brood box – i.e. that the Queen is there, plenty of eggs/brood and to check for an signs of diseases or bugs.
I will record and keep details of these inspections so I can see how each hive is doing. These checks should be done when the weather is warm and dry, not in the rain or if it is too cold as the hive needs to stay warm. I’ve only been beekeeping for a year or so, so I am still learning a lot.
There are so many interesting things to learn about bees. They are fascinating creatures.’
The video below shows Jacqui moving the bees into their new hives:
Five hives in total are currently harvesting our spring wildflowers. I watched the activity at the hives this afternoon. A steady hum of bees coming in laden with pollen.
A hive is a very organised workplace. Patient bees were waiting in a landing pattern while worker bees on the strip were gearing up for take off. I was carefully looking for tiny hard hats or bees carrying clip boards. I do admire their work ethic.
Years of hard work and careful planting has provided us at Honeybuns with a bees perfect home. The apple orchard at Naish Farm will definitely benefit from our industrious friends. The threat to our pollinators has been well documented in recent years. Loss of habitat, pesticides, new illnesses, and the rise of monoculture in farming.
It all contributes to a perfect storm for the 270 species of bee in Great Britain. We can all help with planting bee friendly flowers in our gardens and window boxes. Bluebell, crocus, and foxglove are important spring and summer flowers for bees. Local writer Bridget Strawbridge has an excellent blog on bee friendly practices in gardening. I recommend you read her articles.
In other news, Bee Green team member Chelsey is almost busy as a bee. Our drive for plastic reduction is gathering pace. For a very long time now we have been trying to source a film that can also be frozen without becoming brittle and breaking. However Chelsey has sourced a biodegradable film from Italy which has the potential to replace the plastic film we use.
We will be trialling wrapping our tray bakes and bars with biodegradable film very soon. We are also reviewing our packaging for the Honeybuns online shop to make sure we are using as much biodegradable and recyclable packaging as possible.
Why not read another one of Barry’s BeeGreen blogs here.