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  • 30-08-2017 7:37pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 44


    Hi folks!

    We've bought a new house, it has a thriving garden, and 3/4 apple trees, pear trees, plums and a few other flowering trees. We also grow a number of veg and fruits.

    It's a largely rural area, there are farming fields opposite (wheat I think). There are a number of other gardens and green areas. There is marsh land less than 1k away, and also sand dunes and sea.

    Im wondering if this is a worthwhile place to set up a hive? I dont want to, take a nucleaus, start a hive and have it be in a place that ends up being bad for the bees.

    Thoughts?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 868 ✭✭✭brianmc


    Dantian wrote: »
    Hi folks!

    We've bought a new house, it has a thriving garden, and 3/4 apple trees, pear trees, plums and a few other flowering trees. We also grow a number of veg and fruits.

    It's a largely rural area, there are farming fields opposite (wheat I think). There are a number of other gardens and green areas. There is marsh land less than 1k away, and also sand dunes and sea.

    Im wondering if this is a worthwhile place to set up a hive? I dont want to, take a nucleaus, start a hive and have it be in a place that ends up being bad for the bees.

    Thoughts?

    Despite the pessimism, I think it's very hard to find a place in Ireland that is "bad" for the bees.

    Your own garden sounds useful but the reality is it would only be a very small contribution to a colony. The closer good forage is to the hive, the better but bees will travel a couple of miles and more if they need to so that's an area of about 12 square miles that they will forage over. I'm sure there are plenty of hedgerows, other gardens, useful trees, etc around you when you look over a bigger area.

    That said, it's not unusual to find that your area doesn't offer much at a particular time of year. In Ireland we talk about the June gap but some beekeepers don't really see one. I have bees that are usually fine for forage right through August and September until the Ivy kicks in and I have other bees in another area that will usually need a feed sometime during those months.

    Part of beekeeping is about keeping an eye on the hive and if you need to feed, then do so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,602 ✭✭✭victor8600


    Dantian wrote: »
    I dont want to, take a nucleaus, start a hive and have it be in a place that ends up being bad for the bees. 
    Have you taken a beekeeping course already? If not, I would strongly suggest you do. It is not expensive and provides a lot of value. It teaches you how to manage your bees, but also gives you connections to local beekeepers who know the area and may help you with questions.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,378 ✭✭✭CeilingFly




  • Registered Users Posts: 330 ✭✭solargain


    You should find a local association in your area and do a beginners course . Contact details can be found on http://irishbeekeeping.ie/index.php/find-an-association


  • Registered Users Posts: 810 ✭✭✭kathleen37


    I was wondering the same thing. My concern is that there is little arable land near (lots of sheep/some cows) we're quite high up (bog/forestry) and I always wondered if there would be enough to feed a hive? (Donegal)

    We actually have a few ground bees, but only know when the foxes find the combs and dig them up and eat them (the combs) :0(

    Also, I'm guessing there is no need to take honey from a hive? Is that correct? If we didn't take any honey, I was wondering if that would make it more accommodating if we were to get any bees? (Main thing though, is I wouldn't want to get any and them not thrive due to wet and cold and not good enough feeding for them)

    I would appreciate any thoughts

    Thank you


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,602 ✭✭✭victor8600


    kathleen37, if you want, you can send me a PM with your address (I promise not to share it with anyone) and I can look it up on Google Earth. Or you can check the possible sources of nectar and pollen yourself:

    - Are there at least several flowering trees in the 2 mile radius around your house?
    - Grazing grass fields are quite useless for bees.
    - Overgrown hedges (bramble, ivy) are great for bees.
    - Bog with heather is great :)

    You could ask a local beekeeper (you can find one through a local association) to put a hive at your place for a season for a test. 

    >I'm guessing there is no need to take honey from a hive? Is that correct? 
    Not really correct. Bees should have enough food (honey) for them to survive the winter or times when there is not enough nectar available. However, if you do not put "supers" (additional frames to put on top of the main hive box) when they are bringing a lot of nectar, for example in May, bees may feel that they have not enough space and will be compelled to swarm. On the other hand, you should not leave supers on for winter -- the internal volume of the hive should be reasonably small for bees to maintain warmth inside the hive, a single main box ("brood box") without supers is easier to heat up. This assumes the usual "National"/"Commercial" hive is used.

    However, if you have a Rose Hive, then you may not need to add and take away supers as often. But you will have to inspect them anyway for signs of swarming, lack of food etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 810 ✭✭✭kathleen37


    victor8600 wrote: »
    kathleen37, if you want, you can send me a PM with your address (I promise not to share it with anyone) and I can look it up on Google Earth. Or you can check the possible sources of nectar and pollen yourself:

    - Are there at least several flowering trees in the 2 mile radius around your house?
    - Grazing grass fields are quite useless for bees.
    - Overgrown hedges (bramble, ivy) are great for bees.
    - Bog with heather is great :)

    You could ask a local beekeeper (you can find one through a local association) to put a hive at your place for a season for a test. 

    >I'm guessing there is no need to take honey from a hive? Is that correct? 
    Not really correct. Bees should have enough food (honey) for them to survive the winter or times when there is not enough nectar available. However, if you do not put "supers" (additional frames to put on top of the main hive box) when they are bringing a lot of nectar, for example in May, bees may feel that they have not enough space and will be compelled to swarm. On the other hand, you should not leave supers on for winter -- the internal volume of the hive should be reasonably small for bees to maintain warmth inside the hive, a single main box ("brood box") without supers is easier to heat up. This assumes the usual "National"/"Commercial" hive is used.

    However, if you have a Rose Hive, then you may not need to add and take away supers as often. But you will have to inspect them anyway for signs of swarming, lack of food etc.

    Excellent, thank you. Have always had an interest in bees and I do know there are hives about 15 miles away, but they are much lower than us. - I've also looked up some locals at one of the links posted here so I'll contact them to see what they think.

    Thank you for all the info!


  • Registered Users Posts: 44 Dantian


    victor8600 wrote: »
    Have you taken a beekeeping course already? If not, I would strongly suggest you do. It is not expensive and provides a lot of value. It teaches you how to manage your bees, but also gives you connections to local beekeepers who know the area and may help you with questions.



    Thanks for the responses folks. I have the book, and my work has hives that I'll be helping look after next summer. I've also booked a course for myself and my husband next spring to get some training before we take on some hives.

    I was more worried that proximity to the sea would somehow limit the foraging of the hives.


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