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Our quest for honey…

On National Honey Bee Day 2018, we announced we would be following the wonderful journey of our very own Clair (Finance Assistant) and her husband Marc, as they become beekeepers for the first time to 10,000 worker bees.

The story so far…

Clair and Marc visited the local bee farm to collect their 10,000 worker bees and the queen bee. Transporting them safely to their new home, a beautifully crafted hive, tucked away in a quiet corner of Clair’s garden, with fields of freedom behind them, it is the perfect location for busy bees. On arrival, a large bottle of syrup solution is fed to the bees, to give them energy to start to make their own food.

When receiving a package of bees, the queen is in her own small cage attached to the package. The queen comes from a queen-rearing apiary and is completely unrelated to the bees in the box. The little cage protects her from these bees and being damaged in transit.
Before introducing the queen to her worker bees, she needs to be accepted and this must be done with great care. It is risky business uniting the queen and the bees for several reasons, they may blame the stress of moving from their home on the queen and kill her, or they may not like their new home and the whole colony decide to leave.

Clair and Marc decided to use a technique where the queen’s cage is sealed with hard candy. The 10,000 worker bees then ate through this and freed the queen within two days.
A good supply of sugar syrup fed to the bees sped up this process, and within just one week, a whole load of honeycomb was produced…

Sadly, there will not be any honey to eat this year, due to the bees needing it themselves, but I am sure there will be an abundance next year and we will continue to follow Clair’s story and their quest for honey.

And finally, meet Norman, the bee bouncer…