We bought the beehive at the National Flower Show in Chelmsford in May 2017 and Kevin installed it at the end of the month at the bottom of our garden near our neighbour’s fence. The garden slopes down and faces almost due north. The site looks much more rural than it is! It is actually a typical suburban garden of a semi-detached house built in the 1920s. There are shrubs behind the hive, and an old “family” apple tree to its right, and an old plum tree about five yards in front of the hive. We planted them both when we moved in about 30 years ago. There are raspberry canes behind it, and the very bottom of the garden is hazel trees which belong to the council. It is fairly shaded, although it gets quite a lot of sun early in the morning and later in the afternoon.
Kevin primed the mycelium with lure spray, and left us to it. I didn’t put up a bait box or anything like that. I sprayed the air in front of the hive every morning for a week, then we went on holiday for a week. When we came back I put some spray in the hive, and carried on spraying the air every day. Two weeks or so later, I went down to dump some grass cuttings and saw a bee hovering around the hive! I did a bit more spraying, but kept wandering down the garden, and then there were a few more! I started to get excited, and stopped spraying. The bees were coming in and out of the hive, then flying up and over the house towards the canes and away from the house. There were never more than a few, but there were always some. I never saw a swarm, and haven’t had to coax them out of a bait box or anything like that, so don’t know for certain if there is anything going on, but Kevin advised me to look for yellow dust (pollen) on their legs, and if they were carrying that then I could be fairly sure there would be a laying queen. They had the yellow pollen!
So they are still busy. Something looks like it has been going on. It is getting cold now, so I think I will have to stop up to of the bottom holes soon. I will be taking advice on when. And next year I hope to put some honey boxes on the side of the hive. Maybe we will have some wild honey to share with our friends …. And if not, there have some bees in our garden, finding a home for the summer.
From Nigel B
I should like to thank you most sincerely for the prize of a Gardeners' Beehive. I have never won a raffle prize let alone a competition that has been open nationally. It arrived this morning. It is absolutely fabulous. It will take centre stage in my large front garden with some form of plaque (the wording yet to be thought about). The only other thing I have won is "Blackpool-in-Bloom" twice. It has come to a good home and will be well looked after. Thank you again.
I acquired the habitat in June 2017. The bees arrived in August. The Hive is very well made and will last many years! I am not a bee keeper and do not have any bee keeping kit. However ,this is the beauty of this set-up as I don't need a suit either. The bees are very happy and are very placid. I sometimes irritated them in the summer months, by standing in front of their flight path. All they did was fly into me but never stang. It is amazing to see how busy they are and now even in the winter months, as soon as the temperature rises to near 10 degree C they start flying again.
I can't wait to add my side honey box in Spring, so that I will be able to get a little bit of honey for myself, while not interfering with the main hive.
I highly recommend this hive as I have two young children and have no fear of them being attacked as European bees, I have been reliably informed are very docile. Also its great for the environment, and helps the Bee populations and BONUS... you get some honey for yourself!!!
We got our hive from Gardeners Beehive last year, but unfortunately installed it too late to attract a swarm. The hive successfully survived the hardship of the winter months, and we waited for warmer weather.
With the arrival of spring we regularly applied the specially formulated lure that is supplied with the hive. It took a few weeks, but eventually the bees decided that the hive was a great place to live! It was typical that the week they moved in was the week we were away so missed the arrival of the swarm, however there is now a lot of daily activity with the bees heading off in search of nectar.
We plan to leave them to it this year but we will certainly be back to purchase the add-on honey box for next year! We can't wait to try our own honey!
Thank you Gardeners Beehive, your invention works and it feels great to be supporting the honey bee!
Good morning, thought I would let you know that honey bees have taken up residence in my Gardeners Beehive. They arrived on 2nd June 2018 while I was out. I already have a WBC active hive in the garden, I have positioned it under a damson tree, but it still gets the sun at times. Very pleased. Thanks to you for the invention. Best wishes
"My beehive arrived today. Thank you so much. These are pictures of it an hour after I opened it.
Thanks again mate. Love it."
Ian in Birmingham
Gardeners' Beehives where installed on their farm in Tiptree. This is to help pollinate the strawberries and other soft fruit that they grow for the Wilkin & Sons.
UPDATE: Swarm's have moved into three of the six Gardeners' Beehives at the beginning of June 2018.
A Gardeners' Beehive at River Cottage HQ to pollinate the fruit and vegetables grown in their famous farmhouse kitchen garden.
Gardeners' Beehives at Langthorns Plantery at their garden centre in Dunmow, Essex. A honey bees paradise with all those plants!
Langthorns has two active hives as at Spring 2018. Come and see the bees in action here!!
Cammas Hall Pick Your Own Farm, come and see a hive here.