I do not have space for more hives so they are going to enjoy the nectar on Paul’s organic farm at Lode, near Cambridge. One is a horizontal top bar hive, the other a national, but neither have ever been treated with chemicals for anything.
Keeping bees can even be part of pest control! When the bees visit the flowers on oils seed rape, the flea beetles that reduce yield from the crop end up falling out of the flower and can not make it back up. Also if you have five hives.hectare or 2.5 acres crop yield can go up by 20%. More complete pollination also leads to earlier ripening another benefit for the farmer.
However, Paul does not grow OSR but does have some brassicas that have gone to seed and also has a significant area of borage planted for the bees. This will probably not stop them contributing to his neighbour’s profits however.
Crops that will benefit from them include many of the cucurbits – in particular, courgettes and pumpkins. Some of the cucumbers are self pollinating.
The bees are coming from Fowlmere where as well as these bees, there are also some under a manhole cover on the RSPB reserve there, and two colonies in the church, one in the bell tower and one in the transept! I will probably be able to use some of the wax from these bees to make more handcream and possibly some candles from.
Because, bees get more active as it gets warmer, we will be getting up at stupid o clock to get them!
A sad moment. Christine who donated the bees and hives is such a lovely person and was so sad to see them go. However she is going to visit them at Cambridge Cropshare and that makes me feel a bit better about it.