Saving the Bees. Helping the Bees. Supporting the Bee’s. All are very important to us on the Farmstead. One of the most profound things that hit home for me was watching “Vanishing of the Bees.” In it they discussed what has been happening to the bee population and the role of mono-crops and pesticides have had on the decline of the bee’s.
Our first year on the farmstead we tried to lure bees to the property.
I had read that placing a cotton ball saturated with lemon essential oil would help attract the bees to a box. I gave it a try. We did it, we were able to attract a hive but we then in classic newbie fashion didn’t know what to do next.
I don’t think we ever thought what we tried would work. The fact that it did and so easily shocked us. Suddenly, we were left scrambling to figure out what to do next. The first mistake we made was attracting the bee’s to a box we were not familiar with. We didn’t do much research, we didn’t look over the box thoroughly and we just tried out something I had read about.
Once we had a hive we were worried the box we attracted them too wasn’t a good box and that we needed to move them to a “proper bee box”. So off to the store we went to buy all the bee hive owner things. The lovely head cover, the smoker, the gloves and a proper bee box.
Now that we had all the right things we decided to move the hive into the new box. Below is the video of when Darren realized we had bees and the second is after we moved them. The Instagram link in the middle of the two videos shows Darren moving the bees to the new box.
Three days later the bees absconded. Lesson learned: Be prepared if you are going to give something new a try. We could have easily left the bees where they were, it was a decent bee hive box. If we had left them alone certainly they would still be around.
We tried to attract the bees again last year, without success. This year we have ordered Russian bees and will be picking them up to deliver to our farmstead in May after going to Bee Day to learn more.