Friday, December 17, 2010

We have bees!

Last weekend we got our first hive of bees.  I've been keen to get bees for a number of years, both for honey and pollination of fruit and vegetables.  For some reason there aren't alot of bees around in our area - certainly not on our place, and I can't really see any reason why that would be the case.

The hive we bought came with bees, and is just the ordinary Langstroth hive, very common in Australia.  My ultimate goal is to have several hives, mostly top-bar hives (so the bees build natural comb attached to bars that you can individually move).  We will build these hives, but with all the work that is needed here on the farm and building the house - building bee hives never became a priority. 

At this stage we don't have plans to sell excess honey, we generally prefer to give away our excess produce, but it will all depend on how productive the bees are.  We plan on leaving them enough honey so that we aren't feeding them white sugar as a (poor) substitute for the food they have worked so hard to produce.  Many commercial beekeepers take most of the honey and feed them on sugar (or worse corn syrup from genetically modified corn), so it will be nice to have our own source of 'real' honey made from flowers!

Plus the bees are facinating to watch, I go and sit and watch them fly in and out, you could just sit there all day (obviously I don't have time to do that!).  The kids like them, and our 4 year old already knows so much about bees and how they live - she loves the queen...


  1. How exciting! and this might sound like a silly question but are u likely to be stung? I would love to do this but amm a little worried about getting stung or worse my baby getting stung. But I would love 'homemade' honey yumm! xx

  2. I don't think you can guarantee not getting stung, but mostly if you are calm and considerate of the bees you shouldn't get stung a whole lot. They are sensitive to disturbance and weather (like thunderstorms etc). And if you a rough with them they will let you know that they don't like what you are doing. You should look into the Top-Bar Hives as they disturb the colony less, so you are less likely to get stung. They do make really cute bee suits for children from about 3 years old.

    Yes home grown honey is what we are looking forward to!