Jump to content
Luvachicken

Can you just keep bees as pets instead of for honey ?

Recommended Posts

On 12/31/2020 at 3:50 PM, ellasflock said:

Hi LuvaChicken, so not at all! You don‚Äôt have to collect the honey because the bees will store it and then the colony will feed from it in the winter months, and depending on the size of the beehive you want,¬†then usually the honey is all gone after February and they start making more. If there is still some left after then, they will just keep it in storage, but there usually isn‚Äôt.¬†So you can just leave it in the hiveūü§£

Hi LuvaChicken, You may also have to feed your bees around this time of year if they get short on stores. This would generally be a slab of fondant, similar to icing sugar. I would recommend also that you read some books or go on a course. Beekeeping gets complicated around April as the bees may decide to swarm. This could make you unpopular with your neighbours!!

Don't be discouraged though keeping bees can be fun.

Regards, Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have several bee hotels.  It takes a while for bees to use new ones.  But it is fascinating to watch them filling the nest and then sealing the grub inside.  Then they hatch! Wonderful.   It’s also interesting to see various robber bees etc that are parasites, they bore into the nests and lay their eggs on the host lava.  Gruesome but all God’s  creatures ! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bee houses got put up the other day after I sanded all the holes to make them smooth.

The first visitor was a blue-tit checking out there was no competition, soon after we put them up.

Today though, in the brief bit of sun we had, there was another visitor - a bee.

However, it was a lovely big bumble bee using the house as a sun terrace - no way was he going to fit in the holes. 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Samrich said:

Better not!

 

5 hours ago, Cat tails said:

Better not what? :eh:

Perhaps Sam means that the bumble bee might get stuck if it went in the hole ????

It would have to be a bit thick though if it thought it had the remotest chance of fitting in :lol:

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pleased to say that after a very long wait, 2 of my 'hotel rooms' are fully booked.

They are the 2 tubes right in the middle and have some kind of mud stuff stuck into the entrance.

How long does it take before they hatch ?

Also, at the weekend we went to a very nice bookshop and not only did I spot a Haynes Chicken Manual - which I have already - but there was also a Haynes Bee Manual. It looked really good with loads of detailed photos, but I didn't buy it because I didn't need it - I bought a butterfly and moth book instead. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Q Luvachicken!  I can't remember so I looked it up.  Apparently it takes about 4-5 weeks from laying an egg to an adult for bumblebees.  Reading through the process it sounds less pleasant than I remember as a beekeeper because with honeybees you don't spend much time thinking about the mechanics of hatching as you are spending your time worrying about a)stopping the queen swarming off and b)hoping she has laid some eggs in the first place!  In the end you don't notice when new bees hatch because there are so many bees in a strong colony (ie about 60,000!) although you do keep an eye out for new queens, which helpfully are laid in a different place to regular workers.   However, I have no idea how many eggs a bumblebee queen lays, and I wonder if the social dynamics are different, I assume they are as bumbles are more solitary than honey bees.  You must keep us posted on what happens.  Do you have any clues as to which type of bumblebee(s) you have?  Thinking about it, your bees probably have probably had a tougher time than usual this year, as I understand the UK Spring has been bad, so the bees will have struggled to find enough forage.

If you have a birthday, or a day with a 'y' in it, I think you should buy yourself the Bee ManualūüėÄ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Daphne said:

Thinking about it, your bees probably have probably had a tougher time than usual this year, as I understand the UK Spring has been bad, so the bees will have struggled to find enough forage.

If you have a birthday, or a day with a 'y' in it, I think you should buy yourself the Bee ManualūüėÄ

Yes, it took quite a while for things to warm up but at least summer has finally arrived now.

I think they are solitary bees in my hotel, but I don't know for sure, as I only noticed once the holes were blocked up.

After I wrote my post, I did think that I should have just bought the bee manual anyway as it would have been a good read.

I'll get the book next time I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it makes too much difference really.  For honeybees the advice is to face south or east, so the early sun gets on the hive and to encourage the bees out to forage, I guess it would be the same for bumble bees.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, soapdragon said:

Do bee boxes have to facing a particular direction? I've had one for three years and no sign of activity at all!

The details that came with my bee houses was to put them in the sunniest spot in the garden.

I wasn't sure whether to put mine on stakes in the ground amongst the flowers or on fence posts - we went for the fence posts.

Maybe you need to move yours into a sunnier position ? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...