BEES ARE VERY IMPORTANT
Bees are having a real hard time to survive – as you will have heard – because of climate change, pollution, industrialisation,…
Bees in western countries cannot survive in wild nature without the care of a beekeeper. This is due to the fact that bees suffer infection of varroa mites coming from Asia. European bees have not yet developed resistance to these mites. Apart from that there is a great lack of flowers and blossoms and very little place for a bee colony to find a home (a hollow tree, a cave,..). If they do find a home in wild nature, the colony will not survive for more than 1 or 2 years.
WHAT ARE OUR GOALS?
We want to raise awareness for bees, and we want children to grow up while being in touch with the wonderful world of bees, beekeeping and how the bees produce honey, learning how to respectfully harvest the honey and the propolis.
Second, we want to educate starting beekeepers and give them their first full colony for free. This way awareness and responsibility grows among more and more people.
Whenever the bees make a new queen, this queen can serve as a source of a new colony, if given the chance to develop. Many beekeepers kill the new queen cells, because they could cause a possible swarm: if the new bees start swarming they could get lost and will probably die very soon. However, our third goal is to increase the bee population by taking the opportunity to create a new hive for every colony that can be formed whenever a new queen is born.
Swarming usually doesn’t happen with queens of less than 2 years old. So whenever the bees make new queens, we should always take this opportunity to let them form a new colony and increase in numbers. But that is only possible if we have extra empty hives available. After the new queen has succesfully mated, that same year a new full colony will form. When this becomes possible we can gift this new colony to a starting beekeeper who will take care of it. After a few years just that one colony can grow to 5 or 10 new colonies, which will help the bee population increase exponentially.
That’s how it happened for us as well: we started with one bee hive, and in the second year we grew to a total of 5 hives!
Here is a brief summary of our message:
We do not make a living from beekeeping.
- We do the beekeeping to help the bees get through hard times and to help nature.
- We want children to be in touch with bees and respect nature.
- We want to inspire other people to do the same!
- Whenever we can we will help starting beekeepers, give them advice and get them going by giving them a new full bee colony for free.
- Extra hives are needed to help swarms. A swarm will never survive in our western countries, so these swarming bees need a new hive and a beekeeper to take care of them. We can easily give out a new hive when we have some extra hives to provide.
- People should be able to taste pure fresh natural honey, which is completely different from the commercial honey you can buy in the supermarket (which is often mixed with sugar). After being stored for a long amount of time, honey loses its aroma and taste. Fresh honey is incredibly tasty! If you’ve never tasted fresh honey, you don’t know what you’ve missed.
WHAT WE DO
I started beekeeping a few years ago, and up until now I’ve made my beehives myself with cheap materials. So far I’ve invested more than 700€ in frames, wax, beekeeping material, etc.. I learned a lot about beekeeping by having beehives myself, studying, and learning from experienced beekeepers. I am also a member of an official beekeepers association.
I started with one colony, and only 2 years later I now have five strong colonies.
When I started out I was helped by an amazingly kind old man, who had been a beekeeper for all of his life. He was such a generous person! When I first knocked on his door to ask for help with my very first (queenless) colony, he immediately gave me a full, strong colony. In our region, he was known as the ‘beekeeper godfather’, who helped all beginning beekeepers with their first colony for free.
Our bees are located in Central Limburg, Belgium. We’re very close to 2 forests, and a natural heather area in the north.
In nice weather conditions, bees can fly up to around 3km from their hives.
So this map shows in which area they will fly, and as you can see it’s pretty green here.
We lovingly take care of the bees, and you are always welcome to visit and see how we work. Just let us know when you want to come.
Lots of love,
Kenny, Esteban & Adeline