I have been keeping bees at Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire, England since 2005. Hanbury Hall is owned by the National Trust. The bees are in the walled garden which is open to the public from time to time. In 2010 I started to look after some bees owned by the National Trust as well as our own. I don't claim to be an expert, although I have been beekeeping for some time. This blog is the story of our beekeeping.
Everyone knows that foraging honey bees can find their way back to their home and that ‘guard’ bees will stop any ‘foreign’ bees from coming into their hive.
Well, actually, this is not quite true.In the wild, colonies of bees would set up home with their hives well separated from each other.However, for the convenience of the beekeeper, we tend to put our beehives within a few feet of each other.Also, the guard bees are quite practical.If a worker bee turns up at the doorstep with a full load of nectar, they will generally just let it in ... well, why not!
This all tends to create a bit of a problem for the beekeeper.If the bees cannot tell the difference between the hives, then they tend to just go to the nearest one!