Bees in the garden

Bees in the garden

By Locavore NZ Admin

Bees in the garden

Three weeks ago we split our beehive and installed a baby queen in one half. When you split a hive you need to shift one split at least a kilometre away and leave it there for a month, otherwise the bees will travel back to the original location, defeating the purpose somewhat. So we delivered one mini-hive up the hill to a friend's paddock, with the existing blue dot queen who has done a marvellous job of building up the hive over late winter and early spring. 

The weather has been absolutely rubbish since we split the hive - we did put a feeder in each mini hive, and fed the bees pre-emptively so they wouldn't need to go out in the wind and weather. If the weather continues to be this miserable we'll feed them again tomorrow - if we can get into the hive without washing them away in the rain!

The new queen comes as an unhatched baby, so I am keen to see how she is doing as she will have hatched by now. It will be a week or two before she has her mating flight, and it needs to be at least 18 degrees C for that to happen. The problem with our weather at present is that it can be 9 degrees, then an hour later it can be 19 degrees, and an hour after that it's plummeted down to 7! With accompanying lightning and rain and thunder. I wouldn't want her to get caught out in a storm!

Having bees in your garden can increase the productivity by up to 40% apparently, so it makes sense to have bees. Also they are seriously cool, fascinating to watch. I did an eight month training course so that I'd feel like I knew how to look after them - trust me, eight months is just the beginning!


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