Saturday, 10 November 2007

Bzzzzzzzzzz

My bees arrived last night at about 10.45 pm after a two hour trip from Melbourne in the boot of my friend's car. Even then the tightly sealed hive was humming, felt warm to the touch and the car had a heavy smell of honey. The hive was taken to its place at the bottom of the garden by torchlight, then left until morning before being opened and the bees were able to explore their new surroundings . This morning I was given a basic lesson in Beekeeping and learnt about the boxes and bits that make up the actual hive, what is happening inside, the essential equipment I shall need, and generally how to care for them......in fact at this time of year, one just lets them do their business. Harvesting the honey will happen in February and there may be as much as 40 lbs of honey to enjoy and share around. These bees are from my friend's hive that swarmed a couple of weeks ago and so have only been in this hive for that short time, but have become well established and already productive. When the lid was opened to check all was well and to add another box of flats, we could see that the Queen had been doing her job as there were eggs and pupae visible in the new cells, there were cells sealed and full of honey, and there was burr comb stuck to the inside of the lid that needed removal, plus thousands of bees! When the hive is in full production during the summer it is likely that there will be a population of about ten thousand of these fascinating insects.
When all was complete, we stood and watched for a while - bees congregating around the entrance, bees flying up an off in search of pollen, and later I saw bees returning to the hive with pollen baskets on their hind legs full of yellow pollen. My friend suggests that it may not be long before there is a seat nearby so I can sit with a cup of tea and watch their comings and goings!
There is a whole new language to learn as well as all the technical stuff - so my bedtime reading for the next little while is "Beekeeping for Dummies"

4 comments:

Kate said...

Oh, how gorgeous. I live in a suburb, so I guess we can't have a hive, but just how interesting (as well as yummy) to be able to have one.

Silverbee said...

How exciting! Bees are so fascinating and honey's an incomparable delight. A most appropriate addition to your growing utopia

livebird said...

Just think, all those years ago when you had a collection of bee hive honey pots. And now you have bees. And honey. Betcha wish you'd kept a couple!!

Paddy's Daughter said...

I did!