Bees need a warm, secure and dry place to live. In the wild bees make their nest in a variety of places such as hollow trees and holes in rocks. The beehive was developed to make it easier to manage a colony of bees and collect honey. There are lots of different designs of beehive throughout the world which mostly follow the same basic principles.
The new beehaus, produced Omlet and endorsed by Natural England, is specially designed for keeping bees in a garden or rooftop. It has been developed to provide bees with a safe, modern home in which to live – it makes beekeeping straightforward . The Beehaus has triple insulation (bees need to maintain a stable 35degC in the brood) and space for the whole colony.
Omlet co- founder James Tuthill told The Landscaper : “Bees provide a wonderful service pollinating plants and providing us with honey. Our new product is a brilliant way to keep bees in garden centre, garden or even a rooftop. It’s new design simplifies the principles of beekeeping so that anyone can enjoy this fascinating hobby. With the help of urban gardeners bees can have access to a wonderfully diverse source of plants which results in beautiful tasting honey”
The supply of bees is seasonal and their price may vary between 0.5p and 1.5p per bee depending on availability. Bees are typically supplied on six frames in a wooden transport box which keeps the bees cool but safely inside. There will be around 10,000 worker bees, a queen and sealed brood (new bees not yet hatched) on the frames. This type of colony costs between £80 and £150.
The complete beehause kit is available from £495
Tel 0845 450 2056
Natural England works for people, places and nature to conserve and enhance biodiversity, landscapes and wildlife in rural, urban, coastal and marine areas. They conserve and enhance the natural environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people, and the economic prosperity it brings www.naturalengland.org.uk
Honeybees are probably the most fascinating and certainly the smallest food producing animals you can keep in your garden. A colony of bees is a highly organised society which is controlled by a single, very special member – the Queen bee. Every colony has a Queen, thousands of female workers and a few hundred males called drones. The worker bees, who are all females are unable to lay eggs and so it is the Queen bee who ensures the colony thrives by laying up to 2000 eggs a day (it would take a chicken over 6 years to lay that many!). The worker bees are responsible for looking after the eggs, foraging for food and all the house work. The male bees just sit around eating honey and occassionaly leave the hive to mate with a virgin Queen. The main draw back to being a male bee is that as soon as he has mated with a queen he dies.