I went to see my daughter’s new flat at London. I’m not sure quite where it is, but it is within earshot of the Arsenic football club. It is a couple of floors up in a 50s model block and has a large balcony. I suggested keeping bees on it, but it is overlooked by those above and to the side and, besides, she wants to use it for gardening.
As the block was built so long ago, apparently every flat had a fireplace and a coal hole. They’ve long since disappeared under plasterboard and paper, but, by knocking on the walls, you can detect the cavity where the fireplace used to be. If we can remove the plasterboard panelling, we should be able to install a sort of cupboard with wooden doors behind which will be a perspex panel which would also open like a cupboard, giving access to a side-entry beehive as illustrated in ‘Getting the Best From Your Bees’. The entrance will be, not from the back of the hive, but from the top, the bees flying from the chimney if it still functions.
Blossom, when you’ve read this, can you pop up to the roof please and see what the exit is like for the bees? I would guess that there will be a tile over the chimney top, but a small hole in it would be fine for the bees; after all, we don’t want them to get drenched in rain.
When all’s ready, I can make an artificial swarm and hive them on the combs to fit the new chimney-hive. Will it be ready by the end of May?