In september 2014 resident Green Camp natural builder and traditional carpentar and Luke Green and I set off to adopt two swarms / hives of bees from Best and Phelippe before they headed off to The Kingdom of Tonga to start their life over on a unspoilt island.
The bees are Buckfast Bees, bred by a monk to be as peaceful and non-aggressive as possible. They truly are!
Luke had made the original hexagonal hives with Betsy and Phelipe and wondered if we could give them a home at Green Camp (Arundel Forest Garden). I quickly snapped up the opportunity, and together, Luke ans I selotaped up ever hole in the van and brought the bees down to the forest garden.
We decided to keep the bees according to natural bee keeping principles and also not to harvest their honey: just to let them Bee and help this most valuable species without stealing their honey, their babies food! This we hope would give them an opportunity to thrive!
One of the two hives died right back to just a few bees but the other was jammed FULL.
The first hive has now swarmed twice! The first time it split off to repopulate the hive next door which had been evacuated or had collapsed earlier in the winter. So thats a queen and her daughter queen living next door to eachother.
Now the hives have produced another queen that has swarmed to a very near-by plum tree. The bees are busily huddled there making their first completely natural hive in the garden.
I hear a lot about hive collapse disorder and feel that if you keep bees, not to take from them but to serve them instead, as we do with our organic food forest here, then we can of course enjoy their resurgence. Taking away their babies food when we really have no need to at the cost of all the fruit they polinate too (as we hereby collapse their collonys that polinate the fruit trees) seems unkind, ultimately to ourselves; in the one body of nature.
So true to the Ahimsa principle of the garden, trying to behave like cells that are totally beneficial to all other cells in this one living body of the planet/universe, we see a thriving of life and biodiversity, which is bio-security.
We welcome you all to join our whollistic workshops and retreats strengthening ourselves in this example green-camp.uk/diary