'If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than 4 years to live.'
Very wise words and in todays world diseases amongst our bees are a very real threat. We thought it only right therefore that we should do our bit. So, a few years ago, we purchased our first colony of bees. To be honest our decision wasn't really based on Einstein's comments, more a fact that we really like honey.
We did have three hives but during the winter of 2020-21 we lost them when high winds and rainy weather knocked the hives over killing all the bees. We did, however, purchase two nucs in 2022 and these appear to be doing well through this years very rainy winter.
Some may think it strange that bee keepers enjoy sticking their heads into the home of 40,000 to 50,000 bees. There is obviously a reason. It's to ensure they are all fit and healthy, are not suffering from disease, mice haven't made their way into the hive or woodpeckers drilled their way in.
Few realise what a remarkable insect the bee is. Did you know:
Bees polinate 3/4 of the world's crops
A bee only has a life span of 122 - 152 days
A bee can only make 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its life
A bee can fly up to 6 miles as fast as 15mph
Worker bees are female and live for about 6 weeks
The male bee (Drones) are larger than worker bees, don't do any work, just mate with the Queen bee
The Queen bee lives for about 5 years and in summer lays up to 2500 eggs a day.
In the UK there are over 200 species of bee
The Brood in the centre of the hive is kept at 35C / 95F
Bees have 1 million brain cells - humans have 86 billion
Bees have 3 eyes on top of their head
There are 35 endangered UK species of bee
The bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man
A honey bees wings give 200 beats per second
And to finish off - Aristaeus was the Greek God of Beekeepers.