are now 3 hives down on what used to be known as the Secret Garden which was
a bit of wilderness which we have cleared. I have one hive and Robin has two.
The first hive to come down had belonged to an old boy in Shard End, the hive
was a mess, the bees had built their own network of wax comb, I tried to make
life better for them but they decided to branch out for a better life, swarmed,
and were last seen heading for the Hagley Road, never to be heard of again.
The bees remaining in the colony were few in number and died, so I brought in
a fresh hive which I obtained from a friend in Wednesfield who decided he had
too many bees.
Some of you have asked about the bees that have been out flying during the Winter
on Sunny days, well like us they like to get out, this Winter has been mild
which is good for the bees, I have supplied them with sugar fondant to feed
on as most of their honey was taken off at the backend of last year. During
cold periods they will have clustered together round the Queen to protect her
and keep warm.
When the weather gets a bit warmer, the Queen will start laying eggs to produce
bees that will look after her and the larva, and produce honey, their food store
for Winter. In the South of England there are already reports of Queens laying
eggs. The Queen leaves the hive to mate, she does not mate with males (drones)
from her own colony.
Flowers that you could grow on your plots to help the bees, flowers that have
along flowering period are best. Suggestions are:- Vipers Buglos, Borage, Hyssop,
Helenium Autumnale, Verbena.
Have look at www.rosybee.com/research
for more information.
Construction of a hive.
If you spot a bee swarm please call Nathaniel 07554628791 or Archie 07775701622.
The quicker we know about them the more likely it is that the swarm can be
collected and put to use.
The pictures show two bee swarms which were in the same tree here on the Allotments
the other day, they were both "taken" and given new homes
There was a swarm a few weeks back, and it was there for about 48 hours before
we were aware of it, arrangements were being made to collect it but the swarm
took off, last seen heading for Westfield Road.
Details of swarm collectors