Buzz off!

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I am very keen on preserving and protecting and encouraging wildlife in and around where I live. I regularly listen to farming programs on BBC Radio Four on the way to work, and often hear about the trouble bees are having.

When I heard that some people had difficulty finding places to locate their hives, I offered the opportunity (with the owners permission) for them to place them in a field that’s located towards the back of where we live.

One lady, who was a trainee beekeeper, placed a special, brand new hive with a colony of bees a few summers ago. She was quite new to the world of beekeeping and had been mentored and guided by a more experienced person, but unfortunately at the beginning of the summer, all her bees all left the hive and vanished!

However, somewhat coincidentally, we ended up having some honeybees making a home just under our roof in our back patio.

I was reluctant to do anything, spoke to a few beekeepers and decided that we would cohabit together. The bees were really quite friendly and there weren’t too many of them, and as long as we didn’t go too close to them, they pretty much left us to our own devices.

It was thought by some of the beekeepers that if they hadn’t established a big enough colony under our roof the harsh winter might have killed them off and then we wouldn’t have the problem anymore. But, those two days of warm weather we had last week brought the bees out! There were more than ever and they were swarming all over the place so it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to use our patio if we didn’t do something about it.

Reluctantly I had to seek professional advice, and a company who were the bees knees came to my assistance and said that they could re-home the bees and rid me of the problem.

I was buzzing!

So the Beealiffs came round yesterday and we unveiled what was behind our plasterboard. I did a little time-lapse photography so you can see my B-movie and I was shocked not only at how quickly they had made such a beautiful little home for themselves, but how much honey they had made.

It didn’t take long to vacuum them up with a special bee vacuum (my Dyson would have been too powerful), which didn’t harm them but allowed them to be collected and re-homed.

Then, we scooped up as much honey as we could in order to fill the store cupboard. I did think about supplying someone like SBC with some propolis, or Philosophy with some honey – but ‘maybee’ not!

It was certainly a fascinating experience watching the beekeeper reveal what was behind a wall, and it truly is a marvel of science and nature that they can create such an amazing home so quickly – however I am now left a ruddy great hole in the ceiling, so does anyone know a plasterer can help me out!?

For anyone who loves their bees, this might be a selection that would interest you!

Simon x

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