Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Bee thoughts and Top bar hive update 2014

 I have read and researched about natural beekeeping and I confess that the more I know the less I know. (As is the way with so many things in life).
 I caught several swarms early in the summer, the early ones thrived, a couple of the later ones were small, I combined them as I had no more empty hives. 

July 22nd
 One of the days when I was watching a swarm emerge it moved straight into a neighbouring hive. The hive that was taken over by the swarm had swarmed a couple of times itself and if I had not seen the swarm move in, I would have thought that the old colony had simply recovered its strength very quickly. The observation windows have been great for anticipating swarms. The colony that was taken over definitely had bees resident prior to the swarm moving in.

July 22nd
 It has been an incredible year here for nectar flows. Although August was cool and wet, May, June, July, September and even some of October have had wonderful bee weather.  I took our first honey in July.

 It is SO fragrant. I don't eat much honey but I could enjoy the scent all day. It is reminiscent of a bouquet of flowers. (I am surely biased!).

 Having the bees here is such a joy, the honey is wonderful, trying to understand what is going on is .... challenging. Tuning in with instinct and going with their flow is my way.

October 16th
 However... The most significant element of this journey is how the bees have affected my gardening. Essentially I am a gardener. A hands in the soil person. Everyone has their vocation and while I love many crafts, growing and cultivating is in my being.

 Prior to homing the bees here we rarely saw a honey bee in the garden. Now every day I see them move around the garden from plant to plant, all through the year. So many of our ornamental "exotic" plant species are wonderful bee plants and I see a whole new value in their place in the garden, and I don't mean the value of the honey crop, I mean the value of nectar and pollen as a food source for not just honey bees.

The bees have awoken in me a deeper appreciation for all plants.


Cathy said...

Continue to enjoy watching your garden, children, and knowledge grow. Thank you. --Cathy

Kim said...

Thank you Cathy.