Bee home: reinforcements are under way!

The last three weeks I have been busy preparing for my exams and configuring the new Swiss Folding Team homepage therefore I wasn’t reporting about the evolutions of my bee home. In fact there was no evolution, sadly a devolution related to the cold temperatures: yes, my bees suddenly stopped working and there was no more buzz coming and going.

On Saturday I checked once more if there was something moving, I opened the small observatory drawer and met a sleepy and weak bee which was slowly moving. On one hand it was a nice surprise to meet one as I expected the drawer to be empty, on the other hand seeing that the bee was struggling I felt sorry and was unhappy as it confirmed my suspects regarding the effects of the low temperatures.

Today I received an email from the company, wildbiene und partners (I have just checked the homepage and they do have a wonderful film as introduction), were they were recognizing the challenge posed by the weather and proposing to send a second starting colony in order to reinforce the current one and take advantage of next weeks of hopefully nice weather. Needless to say that I immediately subscribed for the free proposal… I should receive the new bees around next week. Let’s hope for the best! 🙂

Bee home – Three weeks later

It is impressive how this animals keep up the good work. As for the moment being the bees keep filling the small bamboo tubes with eggs and close them with mud. This time I was lucky enough to to record a bee while it was placing some mud so to close the entrance to one of the bamboo tubes. Have a look at the video!

Beehome – Two weeks later

The beehome is standing since two weeks: the number of bees hasn’t increased by a lot. There are probably two or three bees which are flying in and out the small bamboo tubes, but there is no continuous buzz. On one hand I’m relieved, on the other I start wondering where all the other bees have gone. Already “installed” in the beehome, you should receive 15 bees as starting population.  Probably it will take some more time for them to completely develop.

In any case there have been impressive changes in the small hive: multiple tubes have already been closed by the bees with mud, which means that they are already filled with eggs!

At least six bamboo tubes have already been completely closed by the bees. Inside the tubes the bees place eggs and once finished they “close the door” with mud.

As I was there checking the progression of the work and tube counting 😉 I had the opportunity of recording the following video, which is very sweet. I’m not sure if this behaviour is an exchange of information regarding flowers (direction, distance, …) or if it  is a part of the mating process, still is very sweet to look at. Enjoy!

Beehome: one week after 

Recently I have bought a tiny home for bees. The idea came from our gardener and when I understood the peculiarities of the Beehome idea I decided to go for it. Here is the homepage if you want to have a look at it: Wild biene und Partner. I decided to go for it for multiple reasons, here a short recap:

  • I love bees
  • This specific kind of bees don’t require particular care as they don’t produce any honey
  • They have a very little and soft stinger which they don’t use unless severely mishandled

The whole project is a spin off of the ETHZ and works incredibly well as in regard to organisation: when you place your order you can decide when to receive the bees: in my case it worked as planned. When you open the package you don’t have to worry as the bees still need to develop therefore they won’t attack you as soon as you set them free. On the contrary, as you open, everything will seem pretty silent.

Knowing that inside of the small house there are living organisms I decided to take it outside as soon as possible so that the bees could start breathing fresh air again.

And now, after one week of having them, I have already seen the first bee coming out one of the small holes and flying around on some kind of orientation flight.

As for the moment being it seems to be just one of the 25 that you receive I didn’t want to go to near and disturb it while on his orientation flight therefore I don’t have pictures yet: still the bee is pretty hairy, mid-sized, and makes a decent buzz while flying… I’m so in love!

The Beehome
This it the Beehome I installed on our balcony

A few hours later I was able to record a very short video.