Since the HNCC had to leave the Bertram Street site for redevelopment, the bees had to move too. We have moved them to a lovely secure space in St Anne’s Church. They are thriving in their new space and produced a small amount of honey this year.
We will be installing another couple of hives next spring. We are also hoping to set up another little apiary within our community and produce more of our very own HNCC honey.
Here are a few amazing facts about the honey bee……
1. The Queen Bee is the mother to all the bees in her hive. A Queen only mates once in her lifetime with as many male bees called drones as possible. The Queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day, that’s roughly one egg every 43 seconds and she is the only bee in the hive that lays eggs, and can live up to 5 years.
2. There are up to 80,000 worker bees in a colony in the summer, this drops to 5,000 over winter. The life cycle of a summer worker bee is 5-6 weeks while a winter bees life cycle is 4-6 months.
3. A worker bee will visit 1,500 flowers for one load of pollen that is collected as their main food source, they will do this 5-7 times a day. They carry the pollen on their hind legs in a pollen basket. On its return to the hive the bee will do what is called a waggle dance telling all the other bees exactly where the food source is.
4. Honey bees must gather nectar from 2 million flowers to make 1 pound or 453 grams of honey. One honey bee will collect 1/8 of a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime. They can fly for up to 5 mile from their hive and at 15mph on collection trips.
5. Globally there are more honey bees than any type of bee and pollinating insects, so it is the worlds most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees.
6. Honey is the only food source produced by an insect that humans eat. Honey contains all the substances needed to sustain life . Including enzymes, water, minerals and vitamins. It also contains ‘pinocembrin’ that is an antioxidant associated with improved brain function.
6. And lastly a quote from Albert Einstein ” If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live”.