The key to successful plant growth is a steady supply of pollinators including bees. Over the past few years, the steady decline of the honey bee has led to more people trying to keep bees and grow more bee friendly flowers.
Last year, two of our fellow allotmenters, Steve and Phil, bought two hives in an effort to help the bees and have home-made honey. They bees arrived in May and I joined them in regularly inspecting the hives. If you are pondering getting your own hive, here are a few pointers!
1) Attend a bee keeping course. This will give you a good grounding in how bee colonies work, the life cycle of different types of bee and the key components of the hive.
2) Get yourself a bee mentor – someone who you can call if you have questions or concerns about your hive.
3) Get others involved!
Setting up a hive with a colony and all the equipment is expensive, so you need to be sure it’s what you want to do. Spend some time helping out at hive inspections of your bee mentor.
It’s an amazing hobby and gives you a fascinating insight into the lives of bees.