From being a child playing out in the garden during the summer bees have fascinated me. There are the hug Bumble bees that seem too big to fly that take their time flying around not a care in the world. I still love to see them find a Foxglove or Antirrhinum flower into which they push their huge bodies to get the nectar and in the process cover themselves in pollen. They emerge with a slightly drunken look from the nectar laden flowers to set off in search of the next flower holding its bountiful nectar.
The honey bees are the ones that have always fascinate me. When I was small someone kept bees in the orchard on the allotment at the back of our house. He would arrive mid afternoon wearing his full white suit and veil strolling calmly towards the orchard. Then in what seemed clouds of smoke, which quickly became clouds of bees he would open the hive and look inside. I often wondered what it looked like but daren’t have asked.
I had so many questions – How do the bees know where the flowers are? How do they find their way back? How do they make honey? Do they get tired? As I got older I learned more about bees from friends and gardeners that were beekeepers. There is so much folklore surroundings bees as well which seems to come with any herbal tradition. This further stimulated my interest and I started to plant things to attract the bees
Seven years ago along with a friend I took the plunge and started to keep Bees. We’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations along the way. I still constantly fascinated by the way that every bee has a job, how they work up through the ranks, share their wisdom and success along with their bounty of nectar, pollen and honey. I’ve been thinking a lot above the hive structures with its cells recently and have been developing an exciting new project based around the concept of a hive. More news soon …….