Did you know that when creating honey, bees actually regulate the temperature and humidity in their hive to a certain point so that it’s just perfect for the honey. And that this is one of the reasons why honey can be preserved for basically forever?
If someone told me 10 years ago that I would become a beekeeper I would have smiled and gone “Sure, whatever you say”
But here I am, owning a hive with plans on getting a few more in spring. I never suspected that I’d enjoy it so much, that it would be so relaxing to just watch the girls do their job, coming and going from the hive. And seeing the transformation inside of the hive.
It’s one of the reasons why I’m looking into setting up a live stream on the landing board. Not because I’m thinking “Oh people will want to watch this and maybe sponsor the stream!” No, it’s purely because I want to watch it happen, I want to be able to look at one of my screens and watch the bees go back and forth.
Another added extra to that would be that IF something were to be happening to them, I can see it happen and act accordingly.
I even made a site for these girls, something that’s still a work in progress, but I own a brand name of sorts now. If you’re curious, feel free to go and have a look at the BooBees. Yes, I called them Boo Bees. Partly because I just think the name is funny and technically it’s also true that all the honey you eat, has been made by bees long gone.
The site isn’t quite where it needs to be just yet. I’m still testing things and making it better. I’ll also do a dutch part since, you know.. I live in Belgium and most people here talk Dutch as their main language, they know English, but not that well. I also absolutely love our logo.
Right now, Winter is coming. And this means that the girls are getting towards their last days of getting ready for it.
This means getting their stores of honey up and preparing winter bees.
Normally most of the worker bees only last for a couple of weeks, the only bee inside the hive that last for longer is the Queen, who can live up to 2 years, longer even in some cases. That is if she’s doing an ok job and the hive doesn’t decide that it’s time for a new Queen. Something I might talk about some other time.
But when winter is around the corner, the queen starts laying a different kind of worker. Namely the winter bee. They live for a couple of months and their job is to make sure the hive stays a nice temperature during the winter and that the queen survives too.
Us beekeepers use this time to feed them if they need it, and make sure to get mite treatment done, since the varroa mite is one of the most important things that we need to handle in our hives.
In my case, they had their varroa treatment around the end of July, so that means I’ll only have to have a look at it in December.
But what I am doing now is feeding the girls, and boy are they hungry. When I got the hive, they were using about 6 or 7 frames, I had hoped that in the past two months they would have grown to use a bit more but alas, that did not happen.
In an inspection a couple of weeks ago I had also noticed that only one frame out of the ones they were using was filled with honey, which is not good when winter is almost there. So what did I do? I started feeding them. I gave them a bunch of sugar syrup and the other day I gave them 2.5kg of sugar fondant.
I had hoped that the syrup would be enough and that maybe they wouldn’t want the fondant since they had enough in store, but I was wrong, they’re taking it in too.
Seeing that the girls know best what they might need, I’m just letting them have it all and in a couple of weeks I’ll take the hive apart one last time. At that point I’ll change the current cover board with one that has no hole in it and add some news paper to the top to make sure it’s nicely isolated.
And then it’s mostly hoping that they make it through the winter because there won’t be much I can do to help more.
I like this new hobby I have though, it’s definitely different than what I usually do (gaming) and it’s good for the bees! And let’s be honest, bees are awesome.
Even those among you that might be allergic to them realise that without them, we’d be properly fucked, since without bees to pollinate things, we’d have a lot less food going around.
That reminds me, I wonder if I’m allergic. I have yet to be stung by one in the past few months. I remember having been stung years and years ago when I was a kid. And despite there not being anything wrong at that time, people’s physiology changes as they grow older, so who knows I might react very different to it than when I was a child.
But there’s only one way to find out, and I’m hoping that me getting stung won’t happen for a long time.
Stay tune o7