A Hive of Activity

Becoming a foster parent was one of the motivating factors behind the 5k extension project. But as my current living space is too small for the authorities to consider me eligible, I have agreed as an interim measure to foster a hive of bees for my friend and collaborator Karin Stierle.

It has been wonderful having the bees in the garden – so far they are much easier to mind than teenagers. I have invited Karin, the Bee Maven, to share her expertise about this particular hive and all things bees….

checking the frame

Bees in the Garden

 Anyone who has been reading the 5k Extension Blog will know that a number of weeks ago Krzysztof made a beautiful beehive for Natasha’s garden. We used the hive as a lure or bait hive to attract a swarm. To do this we put a few frames of wax foundation and a few drops of lemongrass oil, the wax foundation attracts the bees but it is the lemongrass oil which I am told is similar to the pheromone of the queen bee that is the real attraction.  The plan was to wait for a swarm to arrive! Well!? As with all things to do with nature things don’t always go to plan, my plan that is, nature has it’s own way of making things happen.

 I have two hives of bees in Wicklow and as the swarming season approached I began my swarm control procedures, all was well and going to plan when on one of the hottest days of the year to date a hive swarmed unexpectedly.  Luckily they alighted to a nearby tree and I was able to capture them. So this is how there are now bees in Natasha’s garden, the swarm from my hive was brought to town and is now residing in the 5k Extension garden.

 The trip to town was traumatic for these bees as it was a very hot day and a good number did not survive the trip, yet I am hoping that a sufficient number did survive to begin a new life in town. The question now arises did the queen survive the trip? As you will know a colony of bees must have a queen to continue to exist.  I will leave the bees for a few days; I will look at them during the week and try to determine what to do next.

We will keep you posted.


Tash at her beehive



4 thoughts on “A Hive of Activity

    1. natasha5kextension Post author

      Thank you intrepid one. My interest in fostering is not far removed from the ethos of the 5k extension project, insofar as it is the provision of shelter with all of its meanings that motivates me. I think it would be very rewarding experience for me and my daughters to provide a safe space for someone who is vulnerable. It is a bonus to have the support of social services through the process. I will wait and see what happens with the extension project and then pursue it, because a spare room is required. My age might be against me at that stage!
      With regards the queen bee. Telltale signs suggest she survived the trip! Karin will tell you more…

      1. Karin

        Hi Intrepidmenos, the news is mixed on the survival of the queen in our hive, having had such high causalities on the trip to Natasha’s hive I was sure that the queen was among one of those who did not make it. But it now looks that I might have been mistaken, at last look there were some eggs present, so fingers crossed, nothing is certain yet. Of course there is more to tell we will update the page shortly with the full story. Regards KS

  1. Pingback: Bees in the Hood | corrib_rd_neighbourhood

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