And then there were none

Our little Chatswood apiary was incredibly productive and we adored our bees. Those girls worked their hearts out and really flourished. But, with the move to the farm and the 50 or so hives based there, we decided we’d all be better off if our 3 colonies found new homes.

3 bee colonies

3 bee colonies

2 hives went to Julie so we only had one left, the swarm with the new queen.

One colony left

One colony left

The last hive just found a new home with Sue… and then there were none… 😦

Hiveless Bee Garden

Hiveless Bee Garden

Both Julie and Sue are new beekeepers and are very keen to have healthy and happy colonies. I’m sure they’re all going to get along well.

Even though I know the bees are well cared for, it is a little sad to look at my bee garden and realise we no longer have bees.

It is kind of hard to be too maudlin about the whole thing though because on the farm there are 2 dozen hives that we’ll be helping care for (and 2 dozen more that we’ll be just watching). Plus, who knows, when the spring swarming season is upon us, we might grab a colony or 2 for ourselves. 

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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12 Responses to And then there were none

  1. I enjoyed the stories and the lessons you shared about your three hives and I am looking forward to what you have to share about this whole new adventure that is coming

    • I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it because I sure have. I’m really looking forward to learning – sort of a crash course – a lot more about bees from an experienced apiarist over the next few months. With dozens of hives on the go I’m expecting to see pretty much every kind of issue there is to see before next winter. And hopefully, I’ll see a bunch of great successes as well. I’ll be posting about the experience here.

  2. Laura! Nooooooooooooooooooo!!! Lucky Sue and Julie is all I can say! Look forward to reading about the new chapter.

  3. I can’t even grasp how you would move a hive. Do they stay inside of the hive? If they fly away or are not inside when you move it what happens?

    • You move them at night so they’re all inside. You put a grill or mesh over the opening so the bees can still have good air circulation but can’t fly out and strap the hive parts together (duct tape or a rope around the hive works fine) so if you hit the brakes the hive doesn’t tumble apart in the car. Then load it in the back of your car and drive away. We also wrap the hive in mesh just in case a bee escapes somehow.

      At the other end, put the hive in a pre-prepared spot, un-strap it (though you don’t need to until you want to open it), remove the grill and that’s it. Some people also put straw or grass in front of the opening to make the bees realise they’ve moved so they’ll do another orientation flight.

      Easy Peasy.

  4. Right decision but oh how empty the little bee patch looks. I am very excited for your shift. I’m waiting to read about the new adventures and your chooks settling in.

  5. They will always be special hives for you, it is a bit sad. At least you know they have good homes and perhaps you can visit them :). Amelia

  6. Even change for the better for all concerned can be hard to bear. Best wishes to all the bees, cooks, and humans.

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