New Arrival - Bee Hives!
For some years we have dreamt about
having honey bees here at Maryholme.
After all, our native plants will provide them
with much needed food. Plus, we want to do our part
to help preserve this wonderful species.
So we have welcomed two small hive 'nucs'.
These are nuclear colonies of 10-15,000 bees.
The hope is that the colonies will grow during
the season. A hive usually contains up to 60,000 bees. When it gets larger, the beekeeper Lawrence Iacono will split the hive. Since we are starting out
with a nucleus colony (a "nuc"), we won't count on significant honey in the first year, unless it is
a particularly good year. Bees need time to build up their population and comb, and we will want
to ensure they have adequate numbers of bees
and food for the winter. The average Ontario
honey yield is approximately 70-90 pounds
per well-managed, mature hive.
If you are visiting our hives, you will find them east
of the wildflower meadow, facing the lake
where they will get water to drink. Surrounding
the hives is a solar powered electric fence to deter skunks and racoons! As for bee stings, the bees
are busy about getting pollen and do not usually sting (because they die when they use that hive protection). So unless you appear to be disturbing the hive,
you are not likely to get a bee sting. If you stay
to watch for a while, you will better understand
"busy as bees"...