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Running of the bees

bees

While I was away in Australia for my usual year end escape, my adoptive bees left their hive for good. I’m not really sure what had happened, but there was a mass exodus following a few incidents of hearing loud sounds from the hive. The day I returned, I opened the cardboard box to get a glimpse of 7 months of hive building.

Along with some magnificent combs, was a small amount of honey left, so I saved what I could into three jars – one for Thomas Lim of Edible Garden City/Plan Bee, who loaned me the hive, one for my family, and a spare one, which my brother took. Harvesting the honey was such a messy affair, it dripped everywhere, and my chickens enjoyed a taste too. It even attracted a passing bee. I couldn’t help wondering if it was from the same hive.

Garden Stories: Thomas Lim of Edible Gardens

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This month, I joined beevangelist, Thomas Lim and his Edible Gardens colleague, Suekay, on one of their bee rescue trips. It was Thomas’ second visit to this property in Punggol, where he had previously removed a hive successfully.

On this occasion, the whole process took more than two hours, which is not uncommon, so lots of patience is required on their part. Their task is not as easy as it seems, as the bee suits, although much thinner than the conventional version, is quite warm when worn, especially for that duration. Also, angry bees will swarm around them, and they are sometimes stung in the process, like they were that day.

Thomas and Suekay had to walk away a couple of times in order to calm them down, the rationale for that is bees don’t fly too far away from their hive, and at some point, the bees will have to go back. Bees also picked up on their scents, and would leave the owners and I alone even though we were standing quite near the both of them.