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….
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.