For as long as I can remember I have been very keen on the idea of beekeeping. I would sit out in the garden watching all the different types of bees in the flowers and trees and marvel at their cute fuzzy bodies. Even though I have been stung before (and it hurt), I felt bad that the bee was dying and had stung me by accident.
Not knowing anyone who kept bees, I had no idea where to start. Then a friend of my Dad’s adopted three beehives and we spent hours talking about them. It was enough to give me the final push and say ‘I’m going to be a beekeeper!’
That Christmas, presents were an easy choice for my family. They got me all the equipment I would need to start a colony of my own; including a fantastic book on how bees behave and what is needed. Some of the equipment I got was: Poly National Hive Brood Box and Frames; Poly National Hive Supers and Frames x2; Queen Excluder; Open Mesh Base; Lid; Hive Tool; Smoker and Fuel. And I got to try my bee suit on for the first time and it felt so right!
I began preparing the area I wanted to keep the hive in. I chose an area that had lots of sunlight, but was also sheltered from winds; I cut back the grass so no beetles could climb up easily; I made a good platform for the hive to sit on away from the beetles; and finally, I started to plant more flowers around the area. I already had lots of bee-friendly flowers such as alliums, crocus and meadow flowers, but these Seed Balls have so many different types of flowers that bloom throughout spring, summer and autumn. I also bought some packets of bee seed to plant in borders as well. This meant I had a larger variety of flowers to keep the bees happy for the honey-making season. Everything was ready for my little friends to arrive.
At first, I could not find a source for a colony of bees as it was too late in the year. This gave me extra time to further my research. I watched many different YouTube series' on what not to do when I get bees. I did an online course in natural beekeeping, which confirmed my beliefs that I would only take any excess from the bees. I joined a local beekeeping society and found out lots about the local area. I was feeling more confident than ever that I would be a beekeeper. But I still didn’t have any bees to call my own.
Then it happened this spring: I bought them! Next time I'll share what happened when I introduced them to their new home.