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Bees are fascinating creatures with complex behaviours some of which we still don't understand. In order to keep honey bees the best way possible we need to try to understand how and why bees behave the way they do, and endeavour to allow bees to live as nature intended with minimum interference - after all bees have been around for a few more million years than we have... Take a look at the sections below for information on the honey bee and natural bee keeping, and an introduction to the other 249 species of bee we have in the UK

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23-04-2018 by 

A moose loose aboot this hoose!!

Early this year I was kindly given some national hives after their previous bee keeper passed away. Due to rubbish Spring weather I was unable to get into the hives to see how they were faring after winter. However I suspected they'd be low on stores as the previous bee keeper had removed all supers (a much frowned apon practice amongst most bee keepers these days) so I gave them all a pack of fondant to help them through.

2 weeks later...1st inspection.. Good job I did as not only did they have no honey stores in the supers but a mouse had got in and eaten any stores that they did have in the brood box! No mouse guards had been put on. However there were small colonies in each with a queen and a small amount of brood so I was not giving up on them..

So it was a quick assembly line of frame buillding to give them new frames and foundation so they'd have somewhere to put whatever they were bringing in (pollen and nectar). I also changed their emergency food from fondant to sugar syrup (Spring feed 1:1 -  1L water: 1Kg sugar). The weather had warmed up so that the bees would be able to evaporate the water from the syrup and store it, but also wax making is very energy sapping for bees so they needed syrup to feed the wax building they'd need to be doing , thanks to the mouse!

So I'll keep filling up their feeders with syrup and fingers crossed!