Heritage Gardeners Bee Homes
By Hilary Wildcat
There are many benefits to having bee homes in gardens for both the bees and as well as the garden itself. Bees provide the plants with pollen, which in turn creates a more desirable flower or plant. Along with giving the bees a sustainable place to thrive healthily. There are a few of these bee homes around the waterfront gardens, some of which we would want to eventually relocate from one bed to another.
The moving process for a small bee home requires some patience and planning ahead. The move for bees may be stressful and if not done carefully, some bees may be left behind or become lost. Some things to think about before relocating a hive are the preparation before the move, the day of, and a few days after the move. Before moving a bee home, you will have to take into consideration the length of the move (whether it will be just a few feet away, or a few miles), the time of day (early morning before dusk, or late at night. This is so that none of the bees are left behind and makes for a less stressful move for the bees). As well as the weather. Paying close attention to the weather on the day of, as well as a few days after the move. Relocating a bee home during a rainy cold day, or in the winter is preferred. However, if you are going to move them in the warmer months it is best to choose a cooler/rainy day over a hot day.
During the move, it is important to keep in mind the health of the bees as well. Making sure that the container they are in is well ventilated as well as secure (using #8 hardware cloth with #2 staples to cover any open spaces). Making sure that the bees do not escape. Once the homes are secured and covered, it is best to start the move as soon as these steps are done.
Once relocated to the preferred site, reorientation may be needed for shorter moves (less than 2 miles). Some tips for achieving the best results would be introducing sequestration, this requires leaving the entrance screen for up to 72 hours after the move. This will cause some of the bees to restore themselves before going out. However, this does stress the bees and is not recommended on hot days. As well as placing an object in front of the entrance of the hive. A leafy branch or a similar object will cause the bees to re-establish themselves because the view is unknown.
Moving bee homes may seen like a daunting task, but with the right amount of patience, planning and preparation before a move will make the whole process a lot less taxing.
Bee homes are available for purchase through the Discovery North Bay Museum gift shop.