Way back in March, when I suggested the hive rental idea to Greg, he was skeptical. But, I’d spoken with Marianne Gee with Gees Bees Honey Company and they were quite happy and I figured it was worth a shot.
I was flabbergasted by the interest. We actually have a waiting list of folks wanting to place a hive. It’s a pretty decent deal too: $250/year and you not only get bees on your property, but $200 worth of honey at harvest time!
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of installing a hive at Summerland Rideau, a beautiful family campground just south of Seeley’s Bay. The Burton family are incredibly enthusiastic about having a hive in camp and we can’t wait to see how it does. Incidentally, if you’re looking for a place to camp out for a few days or the whole season, check Summerland out. They’re located in an idyllic setting on Cranberry Lake in the Rideau system.
Naturally, this being a location that will have loads of kid activity over the summer, the hive is from our most gentle stock. These bees are amazing: they’re from a swarm moved in to a dead-out mid-July last year and packed away 25kg of honey in six weeks. They’re so gentle that I literally didn’t have to wear any protective gear when I made some splits earlier this month either: just a veil to keep them from bouncing off my face and I didn’t really need that. They certainly didn’t disappoint, either.
The bees were off to the races and bringing back pollen in under half an hour. Now, they’ll sit there and we’ll see how they do. Given the surrounding terrain, a mix of forest, open fields, some farmland and a nearby marsh, I expect they’ll do quite well.