Turns out that beekeeping and related activities are seen as essential, in the current lockdown situation. So if you need to move a hive or a colony a significant distance, that's legitimate activity. Just so you know.
I discovered this because I'd ordered package bees (ages ago) to help add 2 new hives and then lockdown happened. Couldn't get them couriered - usual services the supplier would use are overloaded. Bee suppliers have been talking to UKGov ("Lot of bees and a whole supply chain going to die if we can't do something") and Defra has cleared bee colony transportation as both essential and an animal welfare activity.
Which is how I ended up cycling quite some distance (carefully) with a box of bees in each pannier.
Huge bee sitting on my jasmine waggling its bum about.
Bee people is this a queen?
It's some variety of bumblebee (looks like one of the Cuckoo Bumblebee varieties), not a honey bee. Which means it could be a queen. Honey bee queens only leave the nest to mate (which they only do once, very early on in their lives) or to form a swarm and find a new home, so it's extremely rare for anybody other than beekeepers to see one. Bumblebee queens get out there more often, but it's still mostly likely a worker.
Cheers Bruce. Garden is full of different varieties of bumbles at the mo. Was impressed by its size, hopefully it'll be back soon so I can admire it a bit more.
Is it true that bees are or have been starving recently ?.
Starving bees is normally a sign that the beekeeper has over-harvested from the hive's honey store. Sometimes it's a sign that the colony was too weak to stop wasps or rival honey bees from stealing their stores. It's not an endemic problem.
UK beekeeping does face some challenges at the moment but they're mostly about disease (European Foul Brood, American Foul Brood, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus). When a novice beekeeper finds a colony has died, they usually also find that the stores are empty and some people mistakenly attributed the cause to starvation for that reason. But a weak or dead colony can't defend the stores, which are quickly robbed. Believe me, the whole insect world around a honey bee colony knows the honey and beeswax are there and would be robbing it in a second if the bees weren't defending it. Sometimes weak colonies are robbed of their stores (by wasps or other honey bees, usually) and starve as a result.
Some parts of the UK have an overabundance of beekeepers but that usually prevents colonies from growing and thriving, rather than starving healthy colonies.
Plonked this up yesterday and already had someone scoping out the place this morning
We've got a resident
Chester storeyhouse bees decided to up camp 100 yards but why ?
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