Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bee Yard - Helping Mother Nature

This year I decided to lend my garden to be an apiary or bee yard. Yes please bring on the beehives of honey bees.  I reached out to a few beekeeper associations and within a day or so I have several beekeepers who offered to keep hives in my yard in exchange for honey (or not depending on the health of the hive.) Bring it on! 

I don't really care if I get any honey well just one jar would be awesome. I wanted to let someone expand or learn their craft while helping Mother Nature bring back the bees, and potentially help out my own garden productivity. We selected a spot in the sun nestled up next to some Arbor Vitae and away from the road and pedestrian traffic. That also means away from the mosquito foggers.  The beekeeper also put in a little water fountain with a solar pump so they would have a ready water source - and the mosquito larvae wouldn't thrive. 
It was a grand experiment for all of us.

From my side, it has been so easy. The beekeeper comes and goes regularly and only my dogs seem to notice.  No issues with the neighbors at all (one is very allergic to bees!)  Every few days I get to take a stroll over by the hives and watch them working, flying in and out. 

The New Queen Has Arrived -Aug 2015
Unfortunately, I hadn't noticed them on any of the flowers or plants in my yard. Not even the Bee Balm. 

So regular inspections ensued. Today we inspected the hives again - the weight has been low, there is little activity, there is little pollen and no brood. Not Good! 

So the beekeeper introduced a new Queen Bee to the hive.  7-10 days we will  know if they accept her.  Plus she started feeding the bees in the interim. It was an interesting concept, I had never thought about feeding bees! A little bottle of sugar water with a slow drip was installed into the hive. Darn clever. 

Poor little guys. 

So late in the season, I hope it goes well.

Hive Inspection - August 2015

Honey Production Below Trend - August 2015

Have a Beautiful Day!

Teresa Marie