I am in a bit of a predicament because this site was started to talk about our experiences with our native bees and what sort of things happened with the bees during the different seasons.
I find I am going to have to change it quite a bit for the time being. The bees will still come into my stories but the whole thing will encompass a great adventure.
Ruurd, my partner in crime as well as other things and I are both 62, or I will be next month and he was last March.
Eighteen months ago he went into a pre-pension situation. His colleagues thought that he and I would opt for a camper van and go off on all sorts of trips… That didn’t happen. Instead we followed a short sailing course together with one of our daughters and her friend. We took to sailing like ducks do to water…. We then bought a polyvalk in which we had great fun during our first sailing season. The lake we sail on is about 10 minutes from where I have two of my bee hive sites. The procedure was that I would drop Ruurd off at the harbour so that he could pursue his hobby and then I would drive go off and do my bee thing – very happy indeed.
However I was never finished at the same time as he was …. so, in this case – I being the one with car keys and he being the one in a boat – it often turned out that I kept him waiting….
This problem has now been laid to rest because at the end of August we bought a meadow. Two other members of Noordbijbees, Johannes and Cor live next door to each other. The adjacent property to their homes, about 200 meters across a field was going to be auctioned due to bankruptcy. Ruurd and I went to that property auction. Lot No. 5 was the one we were interested in ….. and at the crucial moment my man called out that this one was for him…. You really do actually have to shout out loud “MINE!” Raising your hand and signalling is not considered a valid bid….
And so it came about. The bank had foreclosed on the previous owners who had been busy with hennep growing (cannabis) as well as having set their house on fire to acquire the insurance money…..
The next day we went to really see what we had bought; my heart nearly stopped. It was an unbelieveable mess. Ruurd however was all balanced calm….. “We don’t clean the burnt down house away ourselves… We call in a specialised firm to do that” so my pending attack of hyperventilation subsided.
What we did find was a stable large enough to house 3 or 4 horses, toilets and showers, all busted up! but fixable…, a Swiss type chalet A dilapidated mobile home and other outbuildings all in disrepair and all full of horse manure….
So the first week or so was spent mucking out. We had to bring jerry cans full of water from home because the water has been turned off at the mains in the ruin, but we managed very well.
There is also an old greenhouse from about 1900. Much of the glass is broken and a wooden hut has been built around it. I hope to be able to restore it to its old use.
I would like to continue writing about our adventures so I hope that I have interested readers who want to read more.
The whole idea is to create a bee garden for the native honey bees in my hives. There are old and not so healthy fruit trees that will have to be replaced. We will also plant hedgerows in the traditional style so that all bees and pollinating insects can have parties every day. It is going to be such fun, even though it is hard work we have enjoyed every minute up until now.
Ruurd has already built me one table for two bee hives to stand on, he started the second one today. This means that four einraumbeute hives can stand next to each other. At this moment I have two bee folk who seem to be going healthily into winter. When the bulldozers have been to clear away the dilapidated buildings and the meadow becomes calm again we will bring the hives from their current locations to their new home.