Saturday, 25 October 2008


Yesterday evening I went to empty the compost bin and on my way back to the house, noticed a swarm of honey bees in the pear tree.

Mega-excited, I rang the owner of the local beekeeping supplies place. He told me they could stay there for a few hours or a few days. Since it was late, we decided to leave them bee for the night and see if they were still there this morning.

They were!! So my darling man and I went to the store this morning and bought our first beehive box and some protective gloves. I used an old net curtain last night to make a veil for my straw hat and it looks simply elegant, darling! Well, more like sonething out of a C-grade 1950s sci-fi movie, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? :)

We came home and constructed the box, then I rubbed the inside with some lemon balm (to help the bees settle in). We placed the box in the wheelbarrow beneath the tree, gave the branch a quick jerk and the bees dropped down into the box. On goes the lid and hopefully (fingers crossed), we got the queen bee in and have started our very first bee hive.

Things are looking hopeful, as the bees are no longer clustering on the tree, but buzzing around the hive instead. Tonight I need to go out after dark and move the hive to the ground. After they settle in for a couple of days, we need to put in some more frames (you leave some out at first). After a week, we need to move the queen excluder from the bottom as she should have settled in by then.

I have been wanting bees for a while now and actively researching, etc for the past few months. Well, it looks like they finally came to me. And, when the fellow with the two hives rings me back to tell me they're ready, I'll still be getting them. After all, three hives in a back yard isn't too many.

love and light


TheCrone said...


Now you know that I am terrified of the wee beasties so I will never keep bees myself but I am really thrilled for you!

naturewitch said...

Thanks, Dear Crone
The next few days will tell if they settle into their new home or swarm again. I'm sooo hoping they'll stay. I leant down to listen to the hive this evening and could just make out a little fluttering and I thought I caught a very slight whiff of honey! xx

flmom said...

I am so thrilled for you! As your other commenter said, I would be too scared to be able to do this myself (and my hubby won't do it either). We thankfully have a beekeeper just about a mile up the road from us, but having your own hives certainly gives you an advantage of independence.

Cheryl said...

Wow naturewitch how were meant to have these bees of this I am I just pleased they are in safe hands.......

molly said...

WTG...for me it has to be native bees or nothing, I'm allergic to those buggers with stings LOL

Unfortunately they wont allow native bees here, so I get all my honey from a local bee keeper who takes it from hive to press to jars, works for us,


Em said...

Wow, I'm excited for you!! What a wonderful gift, would love to hear progress updates :)

naturewitch said...

Hi flmom
The bees are not at all scary. They've been remarkably well behaved and not even the suggestion they would sting. My bee book says it depends on how you approach them - they know if you are scared or not! xx

Hey Cheryl
Yes, I'm very honoured they came to live in our garden; must be doing something right. The fellow who sells the beekeeping supplies said bees often choose their home from crossing energy lines in the Earth, so guess I'm lucky.
I feel a bit sad about putting them into a housing estate for bees, but they just don't survive the weather extremes here otherwise and they look as if they've just come from a hive - very domesticated. Still, they seem fairly happy at the moment. xx

Hi Molly
These bees have been very civilised so far and seem very sweet natured. If you are allergic to their stings, you might like to have some homeopathic remedies on hand - Urtica is especially helpful. xx

Hi Em
I'm very excited at this development in our urban sufficiency. They really are lovely creatures and we're so happy to have them in residence. xx

molly said...

I would NW, only by allergic, I mean anaphylactic, I drop and without adrenaline I would be riding a cloud lol.

I carry my own adrenaline kit, so can inject if need be, although lord only knows what I will do if I actually ever need it, I'm one of those nurses that hates getting (doesn't mind giving) needles!


Wendy said...

Lucky, lucky you! I am so pleased for you. A gift - surely a sweet gift for you.
I know you will keep them well and safe.
Love and Light

naturewitch said...

Hi Molly
Anaphylaxis not very good. Adrenalin to the rescue. Poor you. :(

Hi Wendy
Yes, I think I'm pretty lucky, too. xx

Jamie said...

We had a pretty sizeable swarm (like yours) out on an Ivory Curl Tree street tree a while back. They stayed overnight then left around 10am the next morning. As they passed over our house they sounded like a low-flying propellor plane.

Enjoy your blog! Cheers, Jamie.

Libbys Blog said...

How exciting. lucky you. The bee population in the UK is in major decline due to our dreadful weather recently. If I had more space I would have liked to have a hive or two!!!

naturewitch said...

Hi Jamie and Libby

Welcome to my blog! Will be sure to drop over soon.

love and light