Moving honey bees.
Since we got the bees last year we have both been learning lots about them and their likes and dislikes. One thing we have discovered is the importance of siting the hive in a spot which is agreeable to bees and humans. One of our hives was facing towards the path we enter the garden by and we discovered over time that we were in the bees flight path when walking to the polytunnels. To rectify this we decided to move this hive to a new position.
The rule of three applies when moving bees. They can only be moved three feet or less each day until they are in the required spot or else moved over three miles away for about three weeks. The reason for this is that when bees are hived they orientate themselves to that spot. If moved only a short distance there is the probability that the bees will return to where the hive was originally situated and find themselves homeless and ultimately die.
Today we took the hive we wanted to relocate to our friend Colette’s place for a three week holiday. Andy blocked up the hive entrance with sponge, did’nt really want a car full of bees, and off we went. Colette’s place is about seven miles from ours so the bees will reorientate themselves to that position and be perfectly content. The whole process will then be repeated when they return home again.
Beltaine Cottage (Colette’s place), is a three acre smallholding run on permaculture principles so there’s no danger of the bees coming into contact with any pollution or chemicals whilst they are there. Lots of organically grown trees and plants fill the garden and it is a haven of peace and tranquility. Maybe Colette will like the bees around and decide to get some herself!