Hidey-ho neighbours! Its Flame – Camp Kintail’s beekeeper in training! Now that it is springtime Hydra and I have cracked open the Kintail hives to see how the bees fared over the winter. We are proud to announce that both hives seem to be alive and well! This had Hydra and I thinking about how bees make a great low maintenance pet! Here’s why:
#5 – You don’t have to clean their tank!
Unlike fish – scrum doesn’t appear on the side of their hives for Hydra and I to skim off. There is no need to provide fresh straw or wood shavings like we have to for the Kintail chickens and bunnies, bees are very clean and take care of their own mess. All winter they hold in their waste and wait until the spring when they go on a “cleansing flight” to relieve themselves! If there is an illness or disease in the colony they will remove the infected cells and dispose of them away from the hive.
#4 – They won’t bring a mouse to your adventure session!
More than once Dennis the cat felt like it was very important to bring a mouse to the low ropes session that I was running for everyone’s entertainment. Despite being able to turn it into a learning experience through discussions about the food chain – it was not the debrief I had in mind! The only thing that bees will bring back to the hive (aside from nectar and pollen) are instructions on how to get back to the great food source that they just found!
#3 – They don’t require “loose leash walking” training!
Bees know what to do! There is no need for training sessions to teach bees what their role is in the hive! Over a bee’s lifetime they take turns graduating through the different roles they are required to perform as a member of the hive. They start by cleaning the hive, then nursing the other brood chambers, then they help to transfer nectar throughout the hive and build wax. After taking their turn at guarding the hive they get to go out and forage!
#2 – Bees don’t dig in your flower beds! (Or chew your favourite pair of shoes!)
Bees collect nectar (an energy source) and pollen (for protein) from the plants and flowers that they visit. This is a very gentle process where they collect the pollen on their legs and they suck up the nectar with their straw like mouth. Unlike Gus the dog who likes to hide his toys – bees won’t dig a big hole in your flower bed!
#1 – You don’t have to worry about feeding them three times every day!
Right now since it is still early spring and only some flowers have bloomed, Hydra and I are helping the bees by providing them with sugar water. Other than going out every couple of days to see how much they are consuming – we don’t have to worry too much about how much the bees are eating! They take care of it themselves!
This concludes our latest adventure in beekeeping. I’ll BEE seeing you next time!
Beekeeper In Training