While we were gone, our friend Philip checked on our property and pruned many of our fruit trees for us. During that time, he talked to his friends, Judy and Adrian (who happen to be beekeepers) about our orchard. When they heard about the low fruit yield on a few of the trees, they suggested that we should put a hive on the property. They felt that bees kept near the orchard would help with pollination, and of course, the added bonus would be honey.
Judy and Adrian offered to install and take care of the hive(s), as we would be providing the land. To us this seemed like a win-win proposition. However, we needed to let them know that there was an old rotting hive that they probably didn’t notice, tucked under some overgrown trees on the side of the property. We could see that bees still came in and out of the old hive, but we had no idea what non-care for many years had done to it. We could see (from a distance) that it was in pretty bad shape, even to our untrained eyes.
Beekeeping is one of the things that I have secretly been”geeked up” about for a long time, but Pierre had always said, “If you want to keep a hive, go for it, but I’m not interested in doing any of the upkeep.” Fair enough, but I travel for work, so beekeeping didn’t seem to be in the cards for me….until now!
Judy and Adrian came over to check out the existing hive, and we suspected, it was in very bad shape. It’s rotting and falling apart, and ants have moved in, which is a definite no-no! The original plan was for Judy and Adrian to establish a new hive/colony on the property, but now they plan to move the existing hive, which apparently is even better.
A new hive (bee box) will be brought over, and the bees will be transferred into it. The old box will be removed and probably destroyed. If it’s not destroyed or moved, it will confuse the bees. The bees in the new hive will be temporarily be removed from the property as well. The hive can’t be moved to a different location on the property initially, because the bees will fly to the old site, and not be able to find the new site. Taking them off the property will allow them to “forget” the old location. In simple terms, this will allow them to “reset” their internal “GPS” devices.
I learn best by doing, in other words, getting in and doing it myself, but that isn’t an option right now. Instead, I’ve been watching beekeeping videos in the meantime. I’ve watched lots and lots of videos, and I’m amazed at how much information is available, if you just take the time to look for it.
I’m not able to become a beekeeper yet, but that idea is certainly rising higher and higher on my bucket list! For right now, I’m happy to be a part of this new adventure (from afar!), and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from Judy and Adrian.