Garden Site

Garden Site - June 2009



Back in mid-April, there was an Email from the club secretary to say a person in Chandlers Ford was offering a site for a Beehive in his garden. I thought I would give everyone an update on what happened, regarding the offer.

I contacted the person who had made the offer, it transpired he lived just down the road from us, so I duly arranged to go round and visit him. He and his family live in a detached house in a lovely, leafy, well established suburb of Chandlers Ford. The area offers loads of forage for Bees, both in his and his neighbour's gardens, along with some local coppiced woodland nearby.

After discussing the risks, insurance, effects on his gardening practice, neighbours, my access to his garden etc. we agreed a site. He confirmed, he would place a large paving slab on the ground and then await the arrival of some bees.

On Sunday 14th of June, I placed a brood box in the garden, along with a swarm I had gathered the previous evening from Woodside Allotments, in Eastleigh.

The new bee keeper and his family are very environmentally aware, his garden and those of his neighbours are very 'Bee friendly' and on my subsequent visit it was obvious he was fascinated by the Bees and had been spending a lot of his time observing them from a distance.

It will be interesting to see how well these 'Urban Bees' do, compared to my 'Rural Bees'. I have informed him that a swarm at this time of year is unlikely to produce Honey this year, but, if they make it through the winter, it will allow me to do a comparison next year. I will, of course, be feeding the colony regularly.

Because, I don't have hives in my garden, it has always 'bugged' me that all of my 'Bee friendly' plants are of no benefit to my Bees – at least now, when I am watching the Bees working my garden, I can think, they could be my Bees.

This positive experience caused me to think, there must be more people like this out there – how do we reach them?  Could we in the Bee Keeping Association do some sort of advertisement campaign, or at least include the opportunity to foster a 'Hive in your Garden' when doing our usual work on raising awareness?

Addendum: I went up to check the hive, the Bees have drawn 3 frames of brood and the queen has successfully mated and is now laying eggs.