Johan and Franz checking if the bees have a queen. The rain and the bees flying around don’t really appear on this photo, but I can tell you they were everywhere… Photo: Sara Jeswani.
“Congratulations, you’ve got bees!”
It was the beginning of July and I was sitting on a boat, far away from Stockholm, when my mobile phone beeped. I stared at the text message for several minutes. Well, I did sign up for that lottery (handing out a few of the “new” bee societies that are created when you divide big ones during summer) at my local beekeeper association’s course earlier this year. But I never win lotteries, so I reckoned nothing would happen.
I was wrong.
Honey bees are extremely interesting animals. Photo: Sara Jeswani.
Reading about the importance of bees and how they are now more and more threatened,I had decided to learn a bit more and joined a beekeeping course in the beginning of this year. I am far from the only one having got this interest lately, and the beekeeping veterans running the course were amazed to see 35 new members coming to the first meeting instead of the normal four to five.
Trying the get the loose honey bees out of the car before driving across the city. Photo: Sara Jeswani.
The thing about bees is that the more you learn about them the more intriguing they get. How on Earth does the bee queen know where to go when it’s time to mate? And how do the bees manage to tell each other where the best nectar is to be found? Why are so many of them dying all of a sudden, does it have to do with pesticides being sprayed on food crops?
I would really like to have a beehive, i thought – in a couple of years.
Who knows if it would ever have happened, if it wasn’t for this lottery. Only question: What do you do with thousands of bees when you live in a flat?
Finally the boxes are placed in the new hive, and after a few minutes the bees start flying in and out, getting to know their new neighbourhood. Photo: Sara Jeswani.
After sending e-mails to everyone I know in the area where I live, I ended up finding a nice new home for them, a local garden association where the members keep bees together. It’s reassuring to have others that will take care of the bees together with me, and last few weeks we started restoring an old hive to give them a new house.
Last week it was finally time to move the bees from their current home in a park north of Stockholm. The rain was pouring down and the bees (approximately 40.000–50.000!) weren’t exactly in their best mood when we put them in the car to cross Stockholm… But now they have a new home, which I hope they will like!