My interest in bees is not beekeeping! My interest is investigating bees in the wild , in their natural setting. So from these observation I have deduced that, yes bees are under pressure from all sorts of thing. But simplest of these to fix is to simply give them a safe home to live. Solving this, I have made my mission! After trying many different designs over years and years, and using all the data I had collected from inspecting bee nests. I have developed a nest that is so convincing, to bees, bees will just move in on their own! But more impressive is they will stay, But even more impressive, is they will thrive in a Gardeners Beehive.
Where did it all start? Well from humble beginnings helping with the bees on my Grandfathers farm in Africa as a little boy, to catching my first swarm when I was about twelve years old. I have always seemed to have had bees around. Never really for honey either, but more for the fascination of bees. Now with bees under greater threat than ever! I am using all I have learnt in a concerted effort to help bees by helping people help bees.
With my interest in bees being more about bees than beekeeping, I wanted to build a honey bee nest for a colony that lost their home when a big Oak tree had been cut down, not far from here. So from all the data I had from bee in the wild I built my first bee nest. That was many years ago now. Many, many more have been built since then. Bee centred not honey centred, bee-hosting not bee-keeping, a different mindset meant something totally new. Then about three years ago, I was talking bees with a work colleague "You have to tell the world!" he said "about your bee nest" he insisted, "And you are the only one who can!" From that conversation, now with all my conviction, I will try my best to make something of the "Gardeners Beehive"
It has taken me many years to perfect a safe home for honey bees. Living in the UK for the last twenty years, I have built up quite a substantial knowledge of bees in the UK wild, urban and rural. From the mycelium and bugs in the bottom, to the lure to attract a swarm. But the clincher came with me observing how bees squirrel honey away, but never using some of it in winter. This then gave us a way to harvest honey with no detrimental affect to the colonies winter stock! And then there you have it, the only self regulating honey bee, honey harvesting system in existence. Whilst honey is not the aim of this hive, it is a little fun perk. Now I am so very pleasantly surprised how many people, like me, just want to help bees. Yes I needed to overcome the mental block that people would only buy a beehive if they could get honey, but how pleasantly happy to be wrong I am. But now to make my dream of thousands of new colony's a reality. Even Monty Done promotes Urban and Rural beekeeping. I have moved from learning and studying bees to learning and studying marketing, selling and business, its an entire new "animal", all this marketing and sales stuff! But it is something I am determined to succeed at for the good of all. Thank you for your interest, now please consider becoming part of the growing Gardeners Beehive Family.
I do not subscribe to the idea or use of the words Queen bee , drones , worker and so on.
No , it is a family.
There is only one female and all the others in the hive are her offspring. So its not a queen but a mother.
All the males are not drones but brothers. Then there are the workers, they cannot lay fully viable eggs or Father. So they are workers, sisters basically for this argument.
Now that we realise that this is a family group, made up of a mother sisters and brothers, apposed to a royal hierarchy of different genetics a number of new ideas come into play. Firstly that the boys are cherished by the sisters as they will carry their genes on. Mating a queen with a drone from a hive that is not from more than a few miles away will constitutes inbreeding, to name but two things of many, I find wrong with conventional beekeeping. Another thing to bare in mind is the fact that the Mother is on a mission to fill the hive with bees and then to go off with half of them to find a new place to live, thus expanding bee numbers. One of her babies will then become a queen, the new mother and take over the existing hive, and then do the same.
To help people, help the honey bee, by providing homes, made locally, sourced locally, ethically and sustainably.