In the summer of 2010, they took up residence at the middle of the meadow: Our first little colony of honey bees. The young queen and her small team of workers came in a four frame nuke, bought from a local breeder. And once they took up residence in their new hive and got used to their new surroundings, they quickly got down to work.
The queen is the mother of all the bees in a hive. Once she has mated, the sperm she has gathered from a number of drones, will last her a lifetime. And at her busiest, in the Spring time, a queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day.
So our new queen got busy laying and all our new worker bees got busy gathering nectar and pollen. But, unfortunately, yet another wet and windy Irish summer dashed any hopes we had of honey. Anything our little bees had made was left to sustain them over the winter.
Last year, though, was a lot more productive. High temperatures and very little rain over the Spring meant our hive was already bursting with honey. And bees. Our queen has been so busy laying eggs that the space was getting a little bit crowded. So we decided to split the hive, moving some bees and eggs into a second hive.
It didn’t take long for a new queen to emerge. Make new bees. And those bees soon starting making honey. By the end of the summer we had our first ever honey harvest. And it was worth waiting for. Our 3 Acres Honey tasted divine, all 29 and a half jars of it.
Now we’re waiting to see what the 2012 harvest will bring.
The 3 Acres Bees