The expansion

At the beginning of 2017 I was presented with an opportunity.  A (relatively) local beekeeper was relocating from the UK to Italy and needed to find new homes for all of his kit.

All of the hives were BS Nationals, all fully populated with 2 year old colonies and all seemed pretty strong. It was too cold to do a full inspection on the hives so I had to take a leap of faith and bought four full hives and a whole bunch of spare parts. Frames, an extractor, loads of supers etc.  A deal was made and I had to make a couple of trips to get all of this kit back to my place. (BTW – Moving beehives in the car is a nerve-wracking experience.)  Once back at mine, the reality of what I’d got myself into kicked in. My garden was fine for a hive or two, but five??  That just wasn’t practical. The space is there, but working in my vegetable beds could have got a lot more exciting than relaxing. They needed a new home.

An exercise ensued whereby I racked my brains as to where might have space locally. Emails were sent to hotels, golf clubs, bee clubs and Facebook groups. There weren’t as many responses as I thought there might be but luckily a local golf club came back to me and after a quick exploratory visit we established what seems to be a pretty great location. It’s a little windy on a ridge but there’s a growing hawthorne hedge on one side and a beech tree which should provide some shelter from the worst of the wind.  Over time I can add some other screening if required. As Storm Doris has whipped through since the hives have been there and hasn’t caused any problems, all seems OK so far.

A bit of gardening – making a hole in the hedge, clearing some weeds etc – and adding a few breeze blocks for hive stands, and the site was ready. Two trips and three hives were in place. Five Hives (two in my garden and three at the golf club) new apiary was up and running.  Exciting times 🙂

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