Hiving Bees: June 1, 2013

With all the other endeavors on the farm it can be easy to forget about the bees. The sheep, chickens, cows, and vegetables all require a certain amount of daily attention. The bees, on the other hand, get along just fine without us. They forage and produce honey without any help from us. All we can do is facilitate their production in our hive boxes so we can share in their bounty. But that doesn't mean their role on the farm is any less critical. All the flowering vegetables and dozens of fruit trees and bushes require pollination by these magnificent insects. And with bee colonies in decline around the world, keeping a few hives on the farm helps make sure pollination will continue.


Introducing a new hive to the farm is surprisingly easy. As long as the queen is kept in the new hive box, the thousands of worker bees will do the rest to make their new home suitable. So after we secure the queen in the box, we only need to dump out the bees into the box and they'll find their way in. And with the aid of a little "bee tea" (sugar water), the bees immediately begin building comb. Soon, the queen will be laying brood and the workers will forage up to 5 miles to bring back pollen to make delicious honey.


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