Just a quick question to those of you who keep honey bees. I don’t know anything about keeping bees.
Can you get a hive and just leave it to it’s own devices? I am not interested in harvesting honey but wondered if a hive that is not managed would survive.
Be grateful for any comments.
Yes, but it would probably last just ~2years due to parasites (particularly the Varroa Mite) and diseases.
This assumes enough stores available to get through the winter - ~10 - 20kg of honey, plus pollen stores.
And the chances are that it would swarm (reproduce) in year two.
And you might get rather unpopular with the neighbours !
Read ‘Honeybee Democracy’ by Tom Seeley, which is about what a wild honey bee colony needs in the way of a home, how they choose between alternatives etc. Fascinating !
Also see the BBKA website.
Thanks Clive, i will look it up.
The secret of keeping a hive in your garden and being at peace with your neighbours is not only to have a big enough garden but to place it in front of a high hedge (six feet) so that the bees fly to and fro above head height.