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“Is it a bird?
Is is a plane?
No, it’s a bee hive!”
We set up two hives last year. One is a conventional box based stacking hive.
Hive II is an African style trough shaped hive and then there’s a new one on the way!
The chickens are curious!
They want to know more.
Why is it blue?
Well it’s in a new eco garden and one of the key people involved in setting it up apparently has a good memory of hives in Geeece that were this colour. Bees can’t see red but they aren’t too worried about colours.
Why is it a funny shape?
Bee hives come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, all of which have an impact on how they can be accessed.
This particular shape is a good height for smaller people to see inside and when working with each comb they can be lifted separately rather than in boxes of ten or twelve which can then weigh twenty kg when full. It makes it easier for wheel chair access too.
What kind of hive is it?
It’s a top bar hive. The name comes from the bars inside that the bees build their comb on.
How will there be bees in it? Will they just rock up and move in?
They might but we are planning to transfer some bees from hive number II. If we give them some bars from this hive they will hopefully build comb that we can transfer across. You can see the bars here.
How do the bees get in?
There’s an entrance low down at one end with several small round holes.
can chickens eat bees?
Well, yes, they can but I’d prefer it if they didn’t! Besides which bees can sting chickens.
What do bees eat?
They eat nectar from flowers which they process into honey but they feed their babies pollen as it contains protein.
What’s he doing to the inside of the hive?
We scorched the inside of the hive to make it less new and more welcoming to the bees.
The chickens have lost interest now. But if anyone else has any bee questions then I’m happy to answer!
We’ll keep you up to date as hive III develops.
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...