I have bees!
Well I don’t yet but there is a nuc waiting for me in spring. Sorry if this is confusing, let me explain!
The build of the hive and purchasing the items needed for beekeeping was always going to be on a very tight budget. It was all to be done from money that I was given on my birthday (14th August).
I had calculated that I could build the hive and buy everything except for the bees themselves and a beekeeping suit, but I have until spring to get the suit.
And so the plan was that I would bait the hive to try and lure a swarm and I also had a local pest control company that would let me know if they were called out to a swarm … sorted!
I have been reading up as much as I can and I have been chatting with beekeepers on Twitter to try and learn from them and I started following School Beekeeping aka @beekeepingkids.
It is lovely seeing their posts about the children learning about bees and beekeeping.
They messaged me to ask about accessibility as they plan on making their apiary as accessible as possible and they want to be able to allow wheelchair users to get up close and personal to their hives.
Yesterday my phone pinged and I saw the above on Twitter!
I HAVE BEES!
I cannot explain in words what this means, especially as I was having the roughest of days with high pain levels and little sleep the night before and this tweet made my day, my week, maybe even a month.
What has happened is that part of the learning has taught the children to create a split, they have created what is known as a nuc (nucleus) and it will be a small box of bees with a Queen and they have apparently been very successful in doing this and kindly offered to give me one of their nuc’s.
This will be over-wintered in Cumbria and next spring this nuc will then be housed in my hive that was built last month.
The reason this is so amazing, apart from being an amazing and very kind gift, is that the bees that they have are good tempered. The risk with baiting a hive or housing a swarm is that you no nothing about this colony of bees.
But I know that this is from a healthy and strong colony and that they won’t be chasing away any visitors to our garden.
Of course the frames from a nuc won’t fit straight into my Top Bar Hive, but I have watched a lot of videos and read a few blog posts and with some cutting and imagination it is possible.
I now think it will be a very long Autumn and Winter as I wait impatiently for my beekeeping journey to begin in the Spring!