“EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU THE BEE MAN?”

This was asked me by a passing dog walker just now.  I admitted that I am and he explained that he was concerned about the bees in a wall next door to him. They fly from a hole in the wall and, as the property, part of the old mill, is being done up, he is afraid that the builders will simply block the hole and wall them in.

I know about those bees as the site owner asked me to take a look last year, but, each time I have been there, I have seen no honey bee activity and so I concluded that either they were some sort of seasonally active wall-nesting solitary bee or, if honeybees, that they had not survived the weather. The chap said that they are flying now and bringing in pollen.

The gentleman on my doorstep (who had been a biodynamic farmer for 20 years, he told me) asked if I could help, and if I knew of any way in which the bees safely could be extracted from the wall. I explained my usual method which takes about 6 weeks to work and needs to be done in the summer months, and so would probably not be practical in this instance. 

He thinks that they are planning to build an extension and so we are wondering whether the bees could be trained to fly/walk down a tube from their present entrance to a new one outside the extension.  I shall contact the owner of the mill, Lily, and ask her about it.  I know of somebody in Leicestershire (whose name currently escapes my memory) who has an observation hive in his kitchen with a tube to the outside world.

My dog-walking new acquainance knows all about bees, having read about them in a book by Rudolph Steiner, which he recommended to me. Apparently, man created the honeybee by taming and training the fig wasp!  You learn something new every day!

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About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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