Bee Nirvana, that’s what I call this apiary. I still feel funny calling the place I have my beehives an apiary as it’s just a place I keep bees. I don’t even own the land, not a chance. A young farmer asked me would I put a hive or two on his land and when I saw the place my heart skipped a beat with joy. He has left a piece of his farm go wild as a reserve for birds and wildlife. There are trees, brambles and wildflowers, and a river running through it (bees need water too). And, most importantly for access, a half-decent road/path down to my hives. As I walk down this short, soggy laneway today, I’m thinking that there is no way I’d bring a car down here during winter, just as well I don’t need to.
I splosh through the mud (there is concrete under it…somewhere) and look at the nearest of the two hives. No activity at the entrance. I hadn’t expected it at this time of year on a cold Saturday morning. I go close to the back of the hive and bend down, an ungainly sight as I stick my tail end in the air and my ear to the side of the hive. (I’m glad no one can see me in this position doing this strange activity!!) I hear a quiet “Whoosh”.. I keep listening in case I’m imagining it..then I hear a faint “Bizz bizz” from inside the hive. There are definitely bees there. That’s as much as I can tell and as much as I can hope to know. “Well, the fondant I gave them didn’t kill them.” I think irrationally. Worry is a constant companion on my beekeeping journey. I do the same for the other hive. All is as well. I feel elated as I walk back up the muddy path to my bicycle that I had the sense to leave at the gate. This is within 5km from home and a bit of exercise is no harm.
This was the first time I cycled up to the visit the hives. Yes, UP and it’s a nice testing hill too. I felt foolish when a jogger sailed effortless past me as I peddled and puffed up the hill! Ah, but as soon as the road levelled out, you can be sure I put an extra effort in to pass them! Ha! So there, jogger!
I’ll cycle up again to see my bees, but I will check the coast is clear of joggers first though, I don’t want too much humiliation. 😊
Bonus piece 😊
Did you know one tree in blossom is worth more than an acre of flowers to the bees. I don’t know who said that or even if it’s true but bees sure like tree blossoms. There are Sycamore and White Thorn all around this Bee Nirvana, they are invaluable to honeybees and other pollinators.
“Trees are an incredibly important source of food for bees and other pollinators. In part due to their large size which contains thousands of flower heads giving the pollinators their important source of food in one place.” https://www.urbanbees.co.uk/trees/trees.htm#feb Has list trees listed by the month they are in flower with photos.
Cover photo of snowdrops is by Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash