On the move, to abodes anew

By | April 18, 2014

Sas and I are moving out of the big city, to the outlying burbs.
And where the peeps go, the bees must follow.
Because I have to check them every week, its a wise idea to have them close by.

So on a Friday evening, I waited until they had all come home for the night, snuck up on them, and plugged the door up with foam to stop them getting out early in the morning. I also put a wire screen on top, to allow heat to escape during the big move the following day, as an overheating hive will kill them.

Early on the Saturday morning, I strapped them up like a gift wrapped box and put them in the boot of the car. Drove them 30 miles down the M4 to Bracknell, situated them on their new site, and opened the door.

It was a carefully planned operation, and not one that should be taken lightly. Done incorrectly the hive could overheat and you’d kill them, they could escape and never find their way home, become homeless and quickly die of the cold, or be a serious hazard while you’re doing 70 mph on the motorway.

Anyway, this tale ends happily.
The hive is now at the Johnson and Johnson Pinewood campus, on 18 acres of woodland and recreational parks, and a J&J learning facility. I’m helping J&J reach their environmental sustainability targets, the bees have acres of excellent forage close to home, and J&J have provided me a superb new home for my buzzy little family. Tripartite symbiosis.

The first few weekly checks show them growing in population, healthy, and collecting bucket loads* of pollen and nectar. From the online pollen charts, I’d suggest they are collecting from poplar, snow drops, blue crocus, and a little gorse**.

All signs point to an excellent year in the apiary.

* not actually bucket loads. Many thousands of mini-thimblesfull
** as a New Zealander, I hate-hate-hate gorse. Introduced to NZ by the English to create cheap rural borders, it quickly took hold in the country side, and blots the landscape as a dreadful thorny weed. On the positive side, I do wonder what pure gorse honey might taste like though.. and if you can put a positive marketing spin on it like manuka honey…?

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