An Apiary for Native Dark Bees


Having a think





When I wrote earlier this month about trying to tame the couch grass and creeping buttercup almost all of what I wrote concerned me, that is not so polite I thought in retrospect because without the Thinker in this partnership I could not achieve much. The
is my husband, in a previous life he used to enjoy chess games that took more than 4 hours. The short fast games could not hold any appeal. These days he doesn’t have much time for chess, unless it’s on the IPad in the evenings as a form of relaxation. My Thinker has built a wonderful apiary for the native bees in my care that we of Noordbijbees are attempting to protect. In this country the Dark Native Bee has been maligned for many many years because she was not greatly productive for those who make honey harvesting/marketing one of their mainstays of being beekeepers.

This terrain we have bought will eventually become a haven for these bees. We hope to provide sufficient amounts of forage for them and all other pollinators that they will not need to fly too far away in search of food and thus encounter and be endangered by pesticides and gmo crops.


At the far end of the barn there was a place with a cement floor, it had a roof which continued from the barn itself but it is quite open at the front and side. There is also a sink with no tap (as yet). After we decided that the roofless caravan would not be suitable for an apiary The Thinker suggested this area. I was delighted because it already had so many useful details, like a loo and cupboard space.

Now though level supports had to be built for the einraumbeute bee hives to stand on. I brough one empty hive from the nature reserve so that he had a proper idea of the size he had to build.

It turned out that when we had rain coming from the south-west that the floor became quite wet. So a shielding roof had to be built onto the outside. In order not to let this swallow huge amounts of money corrugated bitumen sheets were bought by The Thinker. However, and this is where things started to get better and you notice pride in his workmanship is growing. The black bitumen sheets made the effect somber. That was no good so off he went to the DIY shop again. We have membership there now…. This time he came back with polycarbonated artificial glass. This is more difficult to work with but the effect is very much better. Look:    image

If the bees are as pleased as I am with this result then they will very very happy bees I can assure you.

That bit of garden with the manure heap you can see is where I am working on now, it has been reduced by half already. In the front of the bee apiary I will plant buckthorn trees. image These grow just high enough for the bees to fly safely over. Along the foundation wall and in the soil on the other side of the path I had planted lots of thyme and sedum in September. I added a few bulbs when they became available. This was my first tiny piece of garden here.  Since yesterday 23 December there are primulas and image  peonies,   imageas well as  ajuga plants here. I wonder if they will be a match for the couch grass?image.jpeg



About Lindylou

I try to worthy of my bees. I do my best to treat them as the fantastic creatures that I think they are. I delight in them and worry about them. I work hard at learning to let well alone. Trusting the bees to know what is best for them.... Mortifying but also rewarding
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5 Responses to An Apiary for Native Dark Bees

  1. Eddy Winko says:

    I love a good building project, i’m just not very good at finishing the 🙂

  2. Paul says:

    Good luck eliminating the couch grass. I have heard that blackgrass (which may be a different thing) is a big problem for farmers in the UK, where it is becoming resistant to glyphosphate. Farmers are considering going back to crop rotation, proper ploughing (where seeds are buried >5cm deep) and planting competing crops, which grow earlier than the blackgrass and stop it getting light. In other words, old fashioned farming. I hope you find a good plant to out-compete the couch grass!

  3. solarbeez says:

    Very nice work there. Those polycarb sheets ought to keep the rain out. I’m wondering, is that a skep on the shelf? Are you thinking of using it for a hive?

    • Lindylou says:

      I am months behind with my blog, I do hope to catch up before the year is over. We are so very busy with all the work that has to be done. The bee apiary is very beautiful now and there are bees in three of the ‘einraumbeute’ hives all of which seem to be doing well. I have closed their living area to not more than 7 frames. Fingers crossed for the winter. Today it was 13°C and there was plenty of flying activity. Pollen was even being brought in, (bright yellow) Thanks for asking. The skep is not in use but it may one day become an enticement. The shorter skep is for catching swarms.

  4. Good for you for preserving and promoting your native bees!

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