The Buzz Blog

Welcome to our blog 'The Buzz'.  Here we will keep you updated on what is happening in the world of bees and honey and anything else that we think you would be interested in.  If there is a topic you would like to hear about drop us an email and I'll see what we can do.

Sweetree HaBEEtat Update

Written by Stephanie on November 14th, 2013.      0 comments

Well the grass seed is growing around the pond area and the fence is finally up to protect the plants from wandering stock.  The fencing was quite a big job in the soft soil, at least making sure that the posts were in solid. We put in a 4 wire post fence with electric top and third wire. Nice big wide gates for getting the bees in and out. Here's a photo of the fence going up.

The boys are loving the pond area and get down there as much as they can, they call it 'Mud Island'.  They are especially enjoying the raft that Martin made for them.  They have plans for a teepee, palisade, small jetty and fireplace.

On the home front I cleared out the herb garden area of a huge amount of weeds , trimmed some shrubs and put down wet newspaper and mulch. It looks so much better!  I ran out of time to plant more herbs.  There are a few things flowering that the bees are loving - Borage, Sage and some shrubs.  And of course when the Rosemary grows they love that.  It will be great when there are more flowering herbs in.

I'm now recovering from an operation so can't do anything on the garden for a couple of weeks which is rather disappointing as I was getting into a good rhythm.  Oh well it will still be there for me in a couple of weeks!

Bee Swarms

Written by Stephanie on November 7th, 2013.      0 comments

It's that time of year when you are likely to see a few bee swarms.  For those that don't know much about swarms I thought I would explain what they are, why bees swarm and what to do if you have one turn up at your place.

What is a Swarm and Why do Bees Swarm?

Bee-SwarmMainly in springtime you may see a very large group of bees flying together or you may see a big clump (like a ball) of bees hanging from a branch, on a fence, against your house, or some other place.  This is a swarm of bees.  

A swarm is when a queen bee takes a large group  of worker bees (usually about 50-60% of the hive) with her and leaves a hive to find a new home.  It is a natural means of reproduction of bee colonies.  ​A swarm of bees could consist of thousands to tens of thousands of bees.

The reason bees swarm could be due to one of these causes:
  • There are two queens in a hive so one takes half the bees out and finds another home
  • There are too many bees for one hive, a new queen is created and the old queen moves of with some of the bees
  • The bees are simply predisposed genetically to swarming (instinctive)

What to do if you have a Swarm on your Property:

To start with - Don't panic!  Don't touch them!  Don't spray them!  They will not harm you unless you harm them.

The best thing you can do is to get hold of a local beekeeper to come and collect it. There are hobby beekeeping clubs all around the country and they are often looking for swarms to fill new hives.

Look for a beekeeper in your area on the National Beekeepers Association website.  Or google a hobby beekeeper's club near you.  Here are some club websites:

Waikato Hobby Beekeeping Club
Whangarei Beekeeping Club
Christchurch Hobbyist Beekeeping Club

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