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Wild Honey!
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cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 05 10:14 pm    Post subject: Wild Honey!  Reply with quote    

While foraging on Bagpuss's garden (mission accomplished and a pound and a half of redcurrants in the freezer ) I was warned not to go into one corner... Her other half had mowed down a bees nest, and didn't consider that bit safe.

I went to have a look, and sure enough there were bees... Bits of bee-hive were about the lawn down there, with bees bezzing about them, and an obvious entrance to what looked like a subterranean nest. I don't know that much about their hives, but I know a honeybee when I see one, and I know a bit of honeycomb when it's been dislodged accidentally by a lawnmower!

After fashioning a make-shift smoke generator out of dead leaves, grass clippings and matches in an old ceramic plant pot, I advanced towards the hive... Aftet some tentative prodding I returned with the accidentally ruined patch of hive. Some squeezing later and we (my better half and I) were licking honey off our fingers. Fabulous stuff. Enough to taste and enjoy, but I think the bees can keep the rest. I'm not arguing with them for it

sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How amazing. They perhaps were a swarm last year that found a nice sheltered corner in the garden and set up home. You don't see all that many successful wild colonies inthe UK anymore, especially in areas where varroa is a big problem.

If they are the usual 'domestic' bees it might be possible to encourage them to expand into a simple hive so that you could share some of their honey next year- maybe one of the simple hives based on the traditional log hives, or even a clay pot hive or a skep. Either way, you'd need to site it over the damaged portion of the hive to encourage them in, and you'd want a simple queen excluder to ensure you don't harvest brood with your bit of comb. Heres a page on top bar hives which might possibly work.http://www2.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm

sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just tried to post a reply but the machine ate it! Thats really wonderful, you don't see many wild colonies any more. It might be worth considering putting a simple hive over the broken corner to encourage them to expand, and perhaps you might be able to do a little planned rustling next year! Have a look at these top bar hives for one possibility http://www2.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm

Either way, they'll be one reason bhy the redcurrants were so good

sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

bizarre, the machine hates me then both messages appear at once. I give up and am off to work....

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bagpuss? Are you reading this? Shall we set up a bee hive this way in your garden? I think it sounds great!

bagpuss



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 10507
Location: cambridge
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

While bees are very interesting and nice I don't want a bee hive in the back garden, especially so close to the house and when both our neighbours have children

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If the queen moves to the hive you could then move the whole hive to somewhere or someone else who has the room.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44281
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well done Cab, that's a new high in foraging

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Looks like that link could be really useful, Sally: we have bees nesting in the roof each summer (the b ats are at the other end). I'll have to show the old chap, but it looks much less expensive than conventional bee-keeping. And, yes, if we try it, we'll provide an article...

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

mochyn wrote:
And, yes, if we try it, we'll provide an article...


Ah, we have trained you well, young Mochyn

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Am I eliglible for a Young Apprenticeship now?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44281
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    


cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

bagpuss wrote:
While bees are very interesting and nice I don't want a bee hive in the back garden, especially so close to the house and when both our neighbours have children


Might be something to consider if your landlords don't find a way of shifting them for you. I agree you want them away from the doorway there... I don't know the legalities here.

sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you want to move them, then now is a good time to act as they will be tight for space. Try putting a makeshift skep (old waste paper basket perhaps??) on top, cover it well with straw so its nice and dark, and hopefully they will expand into it from the damaged part. With luck, in a month or two the queen will have gradually moved up into the new roomy accommodation, and a local beekeeper will probably happily take them away for you.

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 05 1:47 pm    Post subject: wild honey Reply with quote    

i must say cab that you sound a bit intrepid .....

well done - you can't just let them buzz off now...........you have to collect them and start your own hive surely...............

as someone said -the ultimate in foraging really.........

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