Ever thought of keeping a beehive in your garden?
Yesterday was an exciting day at my place.
I got a beehive installed. This is something I have wanted at my place for a long time, but…. I had no idea how the heck to procure a hive, or look after bees.
Well, the simple answer turned out to be – rent a hive from Backyard Bees here in Nelson/Tasman. It only took them about half an hour to come and set the hive up in a fantastic. out of the way area. At the same time, Andrew attached a sign for their business to the fence – win win for both of our small businesses.
Bees are vital to ensuring pollination of our plants and are suffering more than ever from varroa mites, chemical poisoning and more.
I want a hive for the environmental benefits, as well as the chance to have local honey delivered to my door every year – made from flowers literally in our own back (and front) yards.
I learnt a few interesting facts about bees while Andrew and Wendy were here putting in the hive:
- It takes 4 bees, flying the equivalent of once around the world, to make 1 teaspoon of honey .
- When the hive is moved to a new location the bees venture out in ever increasing circles to orientate themselves.
- The queen lays up to 1500 eggs a day, but if she is under performing she will get kicked out of the hive to die. Harsh!
- Bees only live for 6 weeks – 3 inside the hive and 3 outside foraging.
- Urban bees make excellent honey. Because there is a wider variety of flowering plants in an urban area the bees only need to range up to around 1000 metres.
- To make half a kilo of honey bees need to visit around 2 million flowers – yes weeds are flowers too! So grow more flowers!
- Bees will get annoyed with you if you are standing directly in their flight path, but not if you are standing to the back or sides of the hive away from that path.
Bring on my bees buzzing around the shop garden and local Tahunanui honey.
Check out Backyard Bees here.