I'm Abi, the Communications Officer here at The Tree Bee Society of Great Britain. We're a not for profit who aim to educate those on British Bumble and Honeybees! We work on physically removing bees from properties where they'd otherwise be killed. We work all across the UK and have recently hit the headlines.

Here's a link to an article/interview by one of the National British papers who covered the story.

I've tweeted from our Twitter that I'm here and you can see on our Facebook page the kind of work we do..

Comments: 139 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

Myrmidon18719 karma

Do your consider your job to be the "bee's knees"?

neenoonee16 karma

Gold Star for effort.

woodeye20111 karma

I've asked a many professional bee keepers and have been told now is the worst to get into bee keeping as a hobby. Do you agree?

neenoonee15 karma

It's a fantastic hobby and I'd recommend anybody with enough time and patience to get into it, but it's an expensive one. Here in the UK to get a hive (base, brood box, one honey super, stand), the frames, the wax for the frames, your kit (suit, hive tools, smoker, any other tools) and then the bees, you're looking at about £600. And that's not even including books to learn enough to take on a hive, any courses you do etc.

To make any of that money back in the form of honey and other hive products, it's going to be at least a year or so before you get a decent enough honey harvest, then you've got to purchase jars and properly label them in order to sell the honey to members of the public. It's a large investment upfront.

But if you're willing to make that investment up front, it's the most rewarding thing you'll do.

UnclaimedUsername3 karma

If I do it as a hobby, what's the time commitment?

neenoonee7 karma

There's a lot of commitment to it. A lot of time spent learning about bees, how to keep them, then checking on them. It's not something you can put down then pick up again when you feel like it. They're animals at the end of the day, and while they're low maintenance they still require checking for disease and other issues.

Dr_Jan_Itor_UK8 karma

Do you work with farmers to have a brood near their crops for pollination?

Do you think it would be a good idea for someone to have bees in a garden hive?

How are you as a beekeeper contributing to the health of your bees?

How do you ensure your bees are well hydrated? Especially in very hot weather?

How do you prevent stings when taking the honey? (beyond the obvious suit)

How much do you sell honey for?

What weights of honey so you sell?

What sort of honey? (with comb, flavoured with vanilla, runny, thick)?

neenoonee6 karma

Do you work with farmers to have a brood near their crops for pollination?

We don't yet. It is something we've looked into, but despite us working in a rural area and being known to various local farmers, it's not been something we've been asked for yet. I think we may need a bit more infrastructure in terms of transporting that amount of bees if it ever came to it, but it's definitely something we'd be interested in providing.

Do you think it would be a good idea for someone to have bees in a garden hive?

It all depends on your neighbours, how big your garden is, whether or not there's any laws governing whether you can or not (I know there isn't in the UK but there is in some places in the US?). What I usually suggest when people ask this question is; is your garden big enough to have the bees in one area and then have another area large enough for you and your family to enjoy your garden without being bothered by them?

They're not particularly annoying, but some of their behaviours can be. I used to keep two of my hives in my parents garden (before I had 10 acres of land I could use!) and my Mother always complained about her sheets getting stained by pollen poos and the cars got pollen poos on them as well. Plus they swarmed once (I'd missed the signs) and ended up on a neighbours car. On hot days they can be particularly active etc. Quite often if your garden isn't particularly big enough for you to face them flying away from you and your neighbours, it's best to look for land elsewhere.

How are you as a beekeeper contributing to the health of your bees?

Interesting question! We open them every couple of weeks, check the Queen is laying properly, check for hive diseases and ensure the eggs that are being laid don't show any sign of disease themselves. While we're doing this, we're also making sure they have enough food and that enough pollen is coming in. If there's a lack of pollen, we'll help them out with a bit of sugar syrup, although we're not huge fans of this and much prefer for them to feed off their own honey. Feeding is fine, but it's like if you and me ate McDonalds nonestop for a month. It'd fill us up, but it's probably not great for our bodies.

How do you ensure your bees are well hydrated? Especially in very hot weather?

I'm based in the (Northern) UK, so it is VERY rare that we get temperatures hot enough that they need hydrating to be honest. We've just had a heatwave and the hottest it got was probably about 95F for about one day. We're still in summer and we're now down to a very average 77F. It'll rain tonight and tomorrow will probably be like 64F.

The bees themselves will find water, whether that be natural water sources, a leaking hosepipe, a bird bath, a puddle, the condensation in the morning on the grass in the field etc. Our field has a Canal on one side of it, and a small estuary on the other side, so there's plenty of water around.

How do you prevent stings when taking the honey? (beyond the obvious suit)

Funnily enough, the suits don't really prevent stings. If they want to, they will. We got stung about 20 times between us doing the job mentioned above and that was through gloves and suits. The suits main purpose is to protect your face, as with any animal when it gets defensive, bees will always try for your eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

The bees aren't really bothered if you take honey, if they're used to being opened and the hive is a pretty chilled out one anyway they just get on with it. As I mentioned above, we don't take lots and we always make sure they have enough themselves. The hardest part is shaking them off and trying to extract the honey away from them. I extract away from my field in a hygiene rated kitchen and I'll always find a bee that's managed to come along for the ride. She usually gets scooted outside.

How much do you sell honey for?

Depends on the size of jar and what kind of honey it is. As ours isn't particularly wildflower or any other kind of specific honey, other than local to the area, we usually sell it for £7-8 for a 325g jar.

What weights of honey so you sell?

See above.

What sort of honey? (with comb, flavoured with vanilla, runny, thick)?

We can put comb into it and thats something we may start doing with some of our jars (people pay a bit more for a bit of comb in there, I think it's a bit gimicky, but whatever you like I suppose!) Other than possibly doing that, we don't add anything to our honey that the bees haven't put in there for us. We also don't pasteurise our honey, which a lot of supermarket honeys (especially in the UK) will be, as they've usually come from multiple EU regions and the bees have been treated with chemicals/the honey suppliers don't know what germs etc might be in the hives and the honey.

Fudgiee9 karma

I like your effort for your Fahrenheit for those rebels in America but here we are using imperialism!

neenoonee8 karma

Aww man I had to Google and everything!

grossbitch695 karma

What's your favorite part of your job?

neenoonee5 karma

Probably the satisfaction of knowing that I've rescued as many bees as I have, that would have been poisoned otherwise. It's not quite like rescuing dogs or cats, bees aren't affectionate in any way, shape or form, but when I look back at the field and see the hard work we've put in over the years, it's great to think these bees will carry on and breed and multiple. And more bees = a healthier planet.

Plus, taking a bite of a bit of spare comb right from the hive isn't a bad treat on a particularly tough day.

diegojones44 karma

Why do beekeepers charge to remove the bees? I'm already taking the cost of damage to my house.

neenoonee8 karma

Because it costs us money to do so.

Swarms, I'll remove for free, if I'm cutting open your house/using my knowledge to remove them, I'll have to charge to remove your bees. It's kinda like asking builders why they charge to build houses, or why landlords charge for people to live in them. It takes time, effort, money, professional knowledge and a bit of stupidity to want to constantly work with near 50,000 stinging insects.

Once I've removed them, I need to put them in a hive, I need to mow the field they're now living in and pay the rent on it, I need to put frames in those hives for them to thrive on and because it's my full time job, I also need to feed myself. As soon as the major supermarkets start accepting bees as a method of payment, I'll start doing the work for free.

umbrabates4 karma

Some critics maintain that beekeeping can be cruel and inhumane. They cite such practices as periodically killing the queen to stimulate more honey production and shipping queens through U.S. Mail (with no temperature controls). Are these practices common? Can bee keeping be cruel and inhumane? Are there bee keepers who maintain their practice while avoiding such cruelties?

neenoonee4 karma

In short? Us.

We won't kill Queens and never have. Generally if she's not a good Queen, the bees will replace her anyway. As for posting bees, they're always marked, safely packaged and given food and helpers when sent through the post. We prefer not to, and prefer collection only, but as long as they're couriered door to door ASAP everyone tends to get where they need to be without too much disruption.

The practices are common amongst some beekeeping methods, we practice Natural Beekeeping, which we believe is kinder to the bees.

TheParisOne4 karma

what are some good flowers to have in a garden to encourage bees to visit, and help to feed them? How far do bees fly from their hive to find food?

neenoonee3 karma

Bees will usually fly within in 3 mile radius of where their hive is, but will go further if there's a lack of food within those three miles.

It really depends where you live (country, region etc) and what your native flowers are. Generally we'd encourage you to plant native flowers that are rich in nectar. A lot of garden centres and DIY shops that sell potting plants will now put labels on their plants to let you know which are good for pollinators and insects. Herbs are also a fantastic plant to put in, like Lavender, flowering chives, rosemary etc, because it's something that's useful for you as well as the bees.

TheParisOne2 karma

cool, thanks :) I'm in the middle of a town. Think the native flower is Lavender, so will give that a go in a pot :) I'v had Winter Pansies and Strawberries so far, and had 1 lone bee come visit a few times. Maybe he'll spread the word :D

neenoonee2 karma

There'll be more than one native flower, just Google "Native Flowers ___" and your country/region

milkcloudsinmytea4 karma

Do you keep/have you heard of that kind of bees that produces milk?

neenoonee9 karma

You had me there for like a second, till I went to my brother "this guy knows something about bees that produce milk..."

And he went, "Jesus Abi, BOOBIES!"

hlwroc4 karma

My father is trying to raise honey bees, and last winter (near the end of winter) all of the bees suddenly died. They were in a protected area, and had survived the entire winter until that point. He was supplementing their honey with sugar water, and nothing seemed to have changed. Any ideas of what went wrong? I know it is a long shot, but he was a bit upset at himself for it, and we have no clue where he went wrong.

neenoonee6 karma

We always say that rule #1 of Beekeeping is that the bees will always do whatever the hell the bees want to. Quite often if they've not survived the winter its either because they've been opened too much during the cold and haven't been able to maintain their temperature properly, if you knock on the hive to "see if they're still okay" that can make them use up energy they could be conserving etc or they simply may not have had enough to eat.

How was he making the sugar water? Sounds daft to ask but the water needs to be heated (but not brought to the boil) and either be 1:1 Water:Sugar or 2:1.

Honestly, he shouldn't be too upset. Every beekeeper has moments where they've lost more bees than they've kept and it's all part of the learning curve. At the Tree Bee Society we started our year in January with only one hive due to flooding in our area and the remainding hives being knocked over by livestock that had gotten into our field. Honestly, it was a worry that it would finish us. But you pick up a few swarms here and there and then breed them and you're soon on the right side again. He just needs to keep on trying his best, reading up on beekeeping and maybe asking for advice off other beekeepers in his area - it may have been a common problem last year as to why the bees were dying off and been something other beekeepers experienced as well.

/r/Beekeeping is a fantastic sub as well ;)

prettyrare3 karma

There's a shit load of bees and red wasps on my mom's property this summer. I don't know where they're coming from or what is attracting them, but those little bastards have chased me into the house on several occasions and two have actually stung her. I've tried to find their nests so we can keep clear of that area, but I haven't been able to locate any. Do you have any tips on dealing with this situation without having to pay a professional to do handle it?

neenoonee5 karma

I'm afraid not, it may be that rather than nesting they're feeding off plants? Especially if you can't see them congregating anywhere in particular to indicate a nest/colony.

Unfortunately if you're struggling to locate and identify a nest, it may be best to get a professional in to take a look.

prettyrare4 karma

That actually makes sense. She planted some rosemary late last year, and I just read in another comment you posted here about rosemary attracting bees. Thanks for the info!

neenoonee3 karma

Not a problem! They still shouldn't be getting aggressive when feeding. There's a chance the ones you think are bees are some kind of wasp (yellow jacket?) and as for the reddish ones, I have no idea, I can't think of any reddish insects here in the UK that can sting.

rbevans3 karma

What got you into beekeeping?

neenoonee6 karma

The Tree Bee Society originated from pest controllers who took a stance and didn't want to kill bees, but instead began removing them and re-homing them. This started with Bumblebees that were nesting in and around people's properties, then slowly calls for swarms of honeybees began.

The intention was never to take on too many honeybees, due to the time and effort that goes into looking after them and the overheads involved, however once bitten we come up with a "business plan" and took it from there. It's rapidly grown and alongside the removals we're also registered cosmetics manufacturers, so we make our own products from the excess beeswax, like hand creams, lip balms etc.

For me personally, I've always been an outdoorsy, environmental person. Prior to becoming a pest controller I lived in India and Nicaragua, so dealing with whatever bugs the UK can throw at me was nothing compared to sharing my bed with Scorpions. Bees are actually a really pleasant alternative to cockroaches, rats and mice, so I made the move and haven't looked back.

Geologistguy6783 karma

Do you think that beekeeping would be worth it for a person with a fear of bees to help them get over it? (Me)

neenoonee5 karma

I think I'd recommend that you go join a patient local beekeeper first, borrow a suit and join in with them, rather than paying out for your own and finding out that you hate the entire thing.

TobyWills3 karma

A beekeeper takes honey from the hive.

Does this have an impact on bee growth numbers? Is this an obstacle for bees to thrive again? What if this is done responsibly?

Thanks, this is an interesting IAmA.

neenoonee4 karma


If way too much honey is taken at the wrong time of year, the Queen can stop laying eggs. If you've got less food you wouldn't give yourself more mouths to feed. Same happens if there's not enough pollen coming in.

Taken at the right time of year, nothing major changes, pollen is still coming in, so laying carries on as usual.

mtl4043 karma

I briefly volunteered for Buglife's Urban Buzz project in Cardiff but had to withdraw due to limited time and resources.

What do you think of urban pollinator projects, such as Urban Buzz, or River of Flowers in Bristol? Do you feel they make a much of a difference? Can more be done to improve pollinator habitats in cities, either by organisations or by individuals?

(I'm somewhat obsessed with bees (bumbles foremost but honeybees a close second) and regularly scoop them up from pavements to save them from wayward pedestrians. It's not much, but I like to think every little helps.)

neenoonee3 karma

Thanks for getting involved! You're right, every little does help. Interestingly enough, honeybees seem to thrive and bring back more food when kept in inner cities than in the countryside. This is probably down to the huge variety of plants available in inner cities, people always have hanging baskets, places are planted and maintained, restaurants, beer gardens and cafes have planters and shops will often have bits of plants out as well.

On the other hand, rural areas generally have a few select crops that are subsidised and are worth more money. I know surrounding our field at least we have turf being grown, potatoes and rape seed oil, not a particularly great variety. There are other plants, but not the numbers and variety there would be in the city.

I think more people could be encouraged to not only grow plants for bees, but also for themselves. Most herbs are really low maintenance, look and smell fantastic, are good for the bees and you can cook with them as well. If they don't want a large, heavily maintained garden, buy potted herbs!

xinaxran3 karma

How do you count bees? I always hear about a "hive of xxxxxxx bees".

neenoonee5 karma

At some point, some mathematician has done a very clever estimate. The Queen in any average colony can lay up to 2000 eggs a day. Doing the right kind of maths (of which I'm crap at, my degree isn't in maths) gives you a rough estimate of 50,000 bees per average colony at any one point.

Kakuloo3 karma

I've been told that bees have individual 'temperaments'. Like, some hives are gentler than others on an individual basis (even though they are maybe the same species of bee). Is this true? Or am I being fed a load of crock?

neenoonee6 karma

No that's true! Depending on the Queen depends on what the bees are like. Part of her job is to send out these calming pheromones telling the whole hive that everything is fine. Quite often when a Queen isn't doing this probably the entire hive can be HORRIBLE to inspect. Lots of smoke is needed and a lot of patience, plus an acceptance that you'll most likely get stung off this hive.

Weirdly enough, the hives that are the most shouty/stingy are the ones that run themselves fantastically and produce the most eggs/honey.

MantisStyle3 karma

Let's say I'm in the middle of a park sitting on a blanket eating a sandwich for lunch. Why is there always a bee that will come and just buzz around you? Mostly around your head. They never seem to want anything other than just to get you to move on, so why do they do this?

neenoonee3 karma

Just curious, might want a bite of your lunch.

Nah not really, but they are just curious creatures. Food doesn't really attract them in the same way it attracts wasps (yellow jackets) but it could be your perfume/aftershave. They like investigating a good smelly au de parfume.

Mantisbog3 karma

The bee bit my bottom! Now my bottom's big!

Is that your favorite Simpsons moment?

TheSentinelsSorrow3 karma

Im from near Cardiff, it was rockwood hospital right? Great job btw

What do you do with all these bees now?

neenoonee3 karma

Thank you! Rookwood Hospital yeah.

The bees were collected by my colleagues on Tuesday from the temporary apiary in the hospital grounds and brought back up to Lancashire where our 10 acre apiary is.

They're currently thriving and settling into living in a hive and we'll open them up in a week or two to check on them, make sure they're building comb and possibly give them a bit of a feed.

bushidomonkofshadow3 karma

How much do you earn from "renting" your bees to farmers during pollination season?

neenoonee3 karma

We don't actually provide this service, though it is something we've looked into previously. We're based in a very rural area so it's possible that we could, but we'd probably have to put in a bit more infrastructure first, before we start doing that.

MasterBet3 karma

How do you count bees?

neenoonee5 karma

We don't hahaha! We know that the average colony contains around 50,000 bees. One of the colonies we removed in Cardiff was significantly bigger than the other, so it makes sense that it was over 100,000. The newspapers tend to find extra bees to sell papers.. whether it was 110,000 exactly, I couldn't say ;)

the_drew3 karma

How damaging is the harvesting of honey to the hive? I mean, I assume they make honey because they need it, if we keep stealing it from them isn't that a possible contributor to CCD?

Thanks for your efforts BTW, I love Bee's and it's great to see the interest in helping them during these uncertain times.

neenoonee7 karma

It's a good question!

Here at The Tree Bee Society we only take a few frames of honey from each hives at the beginning of the Spring, around March/April. This is because the bees have overwintered, had what they need and are now capable of making more.

Bees always make WAY more honey than they actually ever need. Think about it, if you were told that you couldn't go food shopping over the next 12 weeks, but were allowed to go tomorrow for one shopping trip to buy food for the entire 12 weeks you're not allowed to purchase any, you'd over buy just to make sure you got through - as long as you had the space to put that food, you'd buy it. Same with honeybees.

When we're closing them up to overwinter them, we're looking to reduce the amount of space they need to warm themselves, but ensure that the colony has enough food to get through. The more space you have to generate heat to warm, the more energy you use and that means you eat more food.

I wouldn't say it's a contributor to CCD (it's hard to say what is really) but I would say that taking the honey after they're relying on it, is probably better than taking it before. But different beekeepers have different methods.

the_drew4 karma

That makes a lot of sense, thank you for the informative reply.

Separate question, I grow a lot of my own veg (as well as herbs, fruits berries etc), I've had a problem with cabbage white's decimating my crops. I read that a garlic spray will deter them, but i'm worried it will deter the bee's too. Do you know if bee's have garlic issues or won't they notice?

(this is the spray recipe i was recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d26tyrTtvXA)

neenoonee4 karma

As far as I know, Garlic should have no negative effect on them - they actually feed off wild garlic so they'll probably just deal with it and move on.

the_drew4 karma

Fantastic thank you. Bee's are awesome! :-)

neenoonee5 karma

Not a problem! Thanks for taking part!

JoeyTheGreek3 karma

What do you think of the Honey Flow hive? Also what percentage of the honey do you take?

neenoonee5 karma

Personally, I think it's a bit gimicky. But it's not been used enough and reviewed enough for me to say otherwise, so it's a waiting game till people who have used it start saying otherwise.

I'd have to see one myself to answer a few of my own questions about it. It's main selling point is that you don't even have to open your hive up(!) except you do, because you need to know whether the bees have any diseases.

canuckley1 karma

How do you tell the bee's have diseases?

neenoonee1 karma

There's different things you're looking out for, deformed wings, damaged brood/eggs, their behaviour etc.

Zan_H2 karma

How do you keep this many bees?

neenoonee3 karma

In hives! An average colony is 50,000 bees, but considering how much comb there was, with eggs, we've split them all across 10 hives. Within the next two weeks they'll have made themselves a new Queen and each individual hive will be its own colony.

We've actually got around 30-40 hives at the moment, so that's around 2 million bees.

Becca_2422 karma

What are yours thoughts on colony collapse disorder and the recent research suggesting that neonicotinoids may be the cause? Is this something we should be worried about?

Also I saw you mention that you're based in Lancashire. I live in Lancashire and unfortunately never heard of such a place. Where abouts are you guys?


neenoonee1 karma

We're in West Lancashire, near Ormskirk.

As a not-for-profit we can't give an opinion as such, although research that we've read shows that Neonics are bad, there is new research out that says they're not as naughty as we first thought. It's a difficult one to navigate, as my personal belief would be that we rely far too much on pesticides in current farming practices, but we've got a growing population with a higher demand on getting bigger yields of crops to feed everyone, so I can see why chemicals like Neonics are a popular choice.

zagreus92 karma

Do you like your women like you like your coffee?

neenoonee2 karma

Can't wait to see how this joke pans out...

NotVerySmarts2 karma

I probably couldnt keep just one bee. How many bees could I keep sustainably and not put them in any harm?

neenoonee2 karma

You're right, you couldn't keep just one bee. Bees rely on each other to work as one large colony. By themselves they're good, but they just can't work. Ever seen Bee Movie?

50,000 is the colony average, so I guess 50,000.

Frobling1 karma

Do you ever get sick of honey, working with it all day long?

neenoonee1 karma

When we do cut outs from properties, yeah, it goes everywhere, everything gets sticky and if you're working away you have to wash your clothes in the shower with you and dry them on the heated towel rails. I never get sick of eating it though, right from the comb is delicious.

rbevans1 karma

How long have you been a beekeeper for?

neenoonee3 karma

Ermm, personally, I've been a beekeeper for 5+ years? I can't remember when I first started playing with bees and actually being able to keep them rather than lose them (it's a phase every new beekeeper goes through, where it seems like the bees don't want to behave and want to abadon hive, or like they're 2 steps ahead of you!) but it's not been 10 years yet.

I want a cake if I get to 10 years of doing this job and my body hasn't given up on me. The kind of beekeeping we do can be very physically demanding.

Frobling1 karma

How many different types of bees have you worked with?

neenoonee1 karma

As in Solitary/Bumble/Honey etc or sub species?

Frobling1 karma

I meant like sub-species. I've heard from one person who works with bees that there are some (sub)species(?) that are kept for pollinating flowers and don't even make honey? Or maybe I don't remember correctly. I'm quite curious.

neenoonee1 karma

Only honeybees make honey. Them, including all other types of bee and other insects are very good at pollination. I suppose you could encourage solitary bees but it's not so much keeping them as them just deciding to nest there. Unless I'm wrong and you can buy in solitary bees for pollination.

Frobling1 karma

It's interesting there is so much information to learn about bees!

neenoonee1 karma

SO much haha. They're fascinating creatures.

justinoverdorf1 karma

I've been hearing a lot about a large reduction in world wide bee populations be it from atmospheric pollution or other hazards. Obviously this is highly detrimental to the continued existence of man on earth, so my question is simple, What can we do to start saving bees?

neenoonee2 karma

Start planting! Even if you only have one small pot outside your front door, flowers and especially those rich in nectar are very important for bees.

We usually recommend people plant herbs, because they're fantastic for the bees and you can use them in cooking as well. You can also help by spreading the word to others on the importance of bees and letting people know why they shouldn't be killed.

jasonblank7131 karma

Pancakes or waffles?

neenoonee1 karma

Neither. Not a fan. Maybe pancakes at a push on Shrove Tuesday but that's with a lot of lemon and sugar.

jasonblank7131 karma

Don't worry, you're not alone at not liking popular foods. I can't stand soda, and I didn't like pizza for the longest time. I also don't like bacon to go along with that

neenoonee3 karma

Not liking fizzy drinks, bacon or pizza?!

I just don't like pancakes, you Sir, have issues.

Pritam19971 karma

Hello Abi I want to clarify a doubt. In our locality whenever there is a beehive near a house or inside a house and thats need to be taken care of, they break it down and extract the honey and wax. Now here is my doubts. They break it before the next new moon ,otherwise it is said that bees leave the hive with all their honey. Why is so? Is there any valid reason?

neenoonee2 karma

Well that's news to me.

I can't see why they'd do it this way. Generally if we're doing cut outs to remove colonies inside of people's properties we'll aim to do them during the summer months/very early autumn. This is just down to the fact that the weathers better (We're based in the UK and even in summer the weather is unpredictable) and in the winter the bees need to be left to huddle together in order to survive any cold weather and a lack of food.

Jim1051 karma

I have tasted honey from two different local sources near me but they don't taste the same.

What causes the taste to change in the honey?

neenoonee1 karma

The plants available to the bees, the different seasons affects this, along with people growing different things.

bees fly in a 3 mile radius to find food, one hive won't fly in the same circle as another.

Prometheus011 karma

Are you as fearful of the impact of Colony Collapse Disorder in decimating the viability of a Bee Population to survive as I am?

Does CCD impose a restriction on colocating Bee Colonys close to sources of pollen?

How capable are Bee Colony's in adapting to new predators (such as more aggressive insects, mites, and takeover of a colony by migrant bee species, ex African Bees)?

neenoonee1 karma

To clarify, I've never had to deal with Africanised Bees, we don't have them here in the UK (that I'm away of) and from what I've heard they're not so much of an issue to keep as bees as long as you know what you're doing.

I think you just need to take CCD as something that affects the hives as much as you do varroa or wax moth. It's a problem, it happens, but it's not as common as you think (again, at least not here in the UK and not as far as I know). I've never taken CCD into consideration much as part of my job, but like I said, I think it's a bigger issue in other parts of the world than it is here.

Bee colonies are amazing at adapting - they've adapted fairly quickly to bring kept in hives and to using wax frames, from being kept in Skeps and prior to that, not being kept at all.

Remember, bees aren't a pet, they haven't been socialised by humans, they're wild animals that happen to adapt well to the situations we put them in. Prior to humans putting them in hives, they had a good few million years without us bothering them.

sparkchaser1 karma

I live in Cheshire. Do you offer tours of your facility?

Do you sell your honey?

Do you make mead?

What can I do to encourage solitary bee populations in my neighborhood?

neenoonee1 karma

Hi there!

At the moment we don't offer tours, it's just not really accessible to get to our field unless you're in a 4x4 and we kinda like it that way ha.

We will be doing a small harvest soon as we're getting everybody ready for winter, so keep an eye on our Facebook where we'll be letting everyone know when we do have some.

I'm currently experimenting with mead, but there are plans to do something in the future with that.

Solitary bees like muck. Those solitary bee houses you can buy are great, but you need to let them get a bit weathered before anything will move in.

sparkchaser1 karma

Thanks. I'll go ahead and like your page on Facebook and follow you.

neenoonee1 karma


TheDertBrothers1 karma

To have a safe landing is the most important part of it. Not only are you moist and uncomfortable, but you're also quite a hoot! Don't be a hoot! There's never enough to satisfy this monster. Forever and again, flight or fright! That's what I always say!

Let's say this! You're very sad and you have a lot of eye water! So much water : (

If your second favorite bumble bee was cognitive enough to read facial expressions, what do you think it would do or say to make you feel warm and comfortable again? I like bees : )

neenoonee1 karma

Wow, that was a lot.

So basically I'm upset and I'm looking for a bee to comfort me? So what would a bee do to cheer me up?

They probably wouldn't, they're always being sneaky, always one step ahead. It'd probably sting me for being such a wimp and crying.

somewhereonearth1 karma

Do you think that vegans should give honey a chance?

neenoonee2 karma

I appreciate where Vegans are coming from, but I think if they have issues with mass produced honey and HUGE honey farms, plus some of the practices they should research or get in touch with a local beekeeper who might not practice the beekeeping methods they frown upon.

Such methods include clipping wings, squashing Queen who don't produce so much amongst others. We practice what's called Natural Beekeeping (for want of a better term, no beekeeping is natural) and let the bees do what they need to, with very to little guidance from us. Obviously we open them and check for disease etc, that's just basic husbandry, but otherwise they do what they've been good at doing for millennia.

thejpn1 karma

My city is currently trying to decide if bees can be kept in residential areas. What are some benefits to allow bees?

neenoonee4 karma

The very food you eat. About 70% of it (including the grains to feed livestock) comes from pollination, a service that a bee does entirely for free. There's some resources that say if we were to pay them a minimum wage, a jar of honey would cost $182,000.

As for whether it's a good idea to put them in your garden? Depends on how much space you have.

taylro1 karma

Who is your favorite bee? Does he have a name?

neenoonee6 karma


Majority of bees are ladies. The boys are there, but they only exist for one reason ;) then their genitals explode and they die.

I wanted to call the Queen in one of our first hives Beeyonce but wasn't allowed :(

mermaidonmeth1 karma

My husband is based in Manchester UK. He really wants to own bees as a hobby. Where can he go to get his supplies and education?

neenoonee1 karma

We're based by Southport! And luckily enough for him we're running accredited courses with UK Rural Skills next year for people to come and learn about bees and beekeeping. We can also supply bees when the times right and point him in the right direction for hives and other kit. If he wants to email us - [email protected] with his details we'll contact him nearer the time we're running the course to see if he's interested.

superphily21 karma

Is it really true that bees are dying and we do not know what is causing them to die?

neenoonee3 karma

Yes and no. There's a problem that exists called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, where for seemingly no reason at all a perfectly healthy colony either dies out or moves on. Researchers and beekeepers have a few ideas as to why it happens, but nothing concrete.

There are other diseases and issues that affect the honeybees that can be managed, which would otherwise cause issues.

kidinafrica1 karma

Will u starve the world when the timing is right?

neenoonee8 karma

When the human race most deserves it, I will withhold the bees.

Adamj11 karma

Is Britain also experiencing a huge threat to its bee population or is that more an American thing?

neenoonee1 karma

There are threats out there, but we're more heavily regulated on pesticides etc over here because of the European Union, although we can override some of those decisions (for example, we allowed Neonicotinoids to be used on crop for a trial basis and we also allow them in some household products as well, whereas the EU banned them). I would definitely say the US has a bigger problem. But you have so many restrictions on land use as well, despite having so much of it.

Lus_0 karma

On holidays we destroyed an hive, it was too close to us, and kids were there as well (one little girl has been hit). I felt so sad to be honest, and we tought the queen has been killed.

Question is, what happen for the rest of the colony now? No hive, no queen.

neenoonee1 karma

They'll die.

Lus_1 karma

I hope the queen escaped so. :(

neenoonee1 karma

Probably not. Even if she did her chances without at least some of her daughters helping her to survive are nil. The Queen relies on other bees to feed her, raise her young, defend the colony, produce food etc and at the same time the bees rely on the Queen to tell them to do all of that. One without the other won't survive.

LOVEpark-2 karma

Hello. As a small business owner it is often overwhelming to keep track of the books myself. Would you recommend I hire a professional such as yourself or do you think I can handle it alone?

So far I have been managing payroll and taxes just fine, I'm just not sure if it is worth the cost of bringing in a full time bookkeeper. Any advice is appreciated.

neenoonee2 karma

Really not sure if trolling or not...