Our three nucleus colonies (nucs) of native Irish honey bees arrived in their temporary homes last week giving them a few days to settle in after their journey without causing too much disruption to them and allowing them time to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings before moving them to their new Rose Hive homes. They are located in a quiet, secluded part of the hotel grounds, away from guests but within close distance to freshwater and plenty of food sources.
Yesterday we witnessed Steve Watson, our Beekeeper, taking such care and so calm throughout the relocation process. It was fascinating. Happy to report that in their 6 days in their temporary homes, the bees have adapted really well to their new environs. There is plenty of forage for them. We have let the dandelions grow with the bees in mind and early spring flowers and orchard blossoms are just coming into flower so they will have plenty in the months ahead.
The transport box hives were made for National Hives. The frames for the Rose Hives are shorter than the National Hives so you will see in the photos how Steve carefully removed the surplus honeycomb (or broodcomb) and gently transposed it into a new frame securing the comb with elastic bands until the bees themselves secure with wax it in its new hive which should take a week or so. Then the rubber bands can be removed.
The Rose Hive took the exact place of the temporary hive as they bees would be put out if there were even a few inches of a difference. Their natural GPS have already been set, another good sign they are happy at Renvyle House.
The base layer of the hive, the “brood box”, can take up to 11 frames. At the moment we have 6 or 7 frames per hive. Once the frames were placed in the Rose Hive brood box a little blanket was placed on top to keep the bees warm and finally the roof was then placed on top of the blanket. Once the brood box frames are full, the cover is removed and another layer, the ‘super’ box is placed on top for the bees to work within and fill more frames and so on.
We stayed to watch the first hive being transferred and then left Steve in peace to tend to the two remaining. Within two hours he had completed the job and the bees were settled into their new homes.