ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BEEHIVE RENTAL.
Have a read through our most frequently asked questions below.
DO I NEED EXPERIENCE?
The best part about our service is that you need no beekeeping experience whatsoever - we do all of the work.
WHERE DO WE INSTALL THE HIVES?
Currently we cover 5-10 miles from central Birmingham area but if you are located elsewhere please still get in touch and we’ll send you updates as and when we expand our service area.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL PLACE FOR A HIVE?
Bees like a sunny spot with partial shade, ideally near a fence or screen which protects the hive from the wind and encourages them to fly up above head height when leaving or entering the hive. Rooftops are perfect.
WOULD RENTING HIVES BE SUITABLE FOR ME?
Do rent hives if you like bees, enjoy honey and want to feel a connection with nature. Don’t rent hives if you are overly scared of being stung or are only interested in making honey.
IS MY OUTDOOR SPACE TOO SMALL?
We need (approx a 3 meter diameter) around the hive to carry out the work. The only way to know for sure if you have a suitable space for beehives is to arrange a free inspection.
WHY IS IT A YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION?
Bees don’t like being moved around too much and it’s not a simple task either so we have a minimum subscription of 1 year.
HOW MUCH ACCESS NEEDED TO THE HIVES?
Some beekeeping activities can be very time sensitive so we need to be able to access the hives at all times. However we will discuss your individual circumstances when we do a site inspection and agree arrangements to gain access to the hives.
ARE THERE ANY LAWS ON KEEPING BEES?
There aren’t any specific laws regarding beekeeping. We do have a contract which you’ll need to read and sign but this is as much for your benefit as ours.
WHAT IF SOMEONE COMPLAINS?
To prevent this from happening we recommend that you inform everyone using the surrounding area that you plan to have beehives before we install them. Usually a bit of enthusiasm and an explanation will bring them around. If you don’t feel confident telling them anything directly then direct them to our website so they can read for themselves. If anyone complains after your bees have been installed, it’s best to use common sense first, have a chat and ascertain what the problem is. Most disputes can be resolved with a kind word and a jar of honey, only in a very rare case would we have to remove the bees.
WHAT TYPE OF BEES DO YOU HAVE?
Currently all our bees are either Buckfast or Italian - chosen for their suitability for urban, backyard beekeeping. If any of our colonies become too aggressive or exhibit any other bad traits we will re-queen them as soon as possible.
COULD I GET STUNG BY A BEE?
Unlike Wasps, Honey bees usually only sting as a last resort because they die in the process. We position your hive to avoid the bees flying across frequently used areas and if you’re relaxed around them they’ll leave you alone. However there are no guarentees. If you or anyone living in the immediate vacinity are alergic then getting bees may not be for you.
HOW ABOUT CATS & DOGS?
Cats and dogs seem to get on fine around bee hives, again we can’t guarantee your pets won’t get stung but if it happens once they’re generally smart enough to avoid them in the future!
HOW CAN WE HELP OUR BEES?
There are lots of things you can do to keep your bees happy when we’re not there. Firstly make sure they have access to water. They prefer shallow damp areas that they can stand on and drink from. So a small pot or dish with mud/gravel in it kept wet will suffice. Secondly you can make sure there’s enough food in the near vicinity by planting wild flowers, or at the very least not pulling them up. A wild garden is not only good for bees but for many other animals too.
WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN?
With young children, you should only need to tell them not to play too near the hives. If a hive was disturbed or worse knocked over this could cause the bees to become defensive and sting.
WHAT DO WE DO IF SOMEONE GETS STUNG?
The first thing to do is to remove the stinger by scraping it out with your fingernail or the blade of a knife then put some ice on it to help relieve any pain or swelling. You can then clean the affected area and apply an antihistamine ointment.
WILL OUR BEES SWARM?
We spend the spring and summer doing everything in our power to prevent the bees from swarming. However, it’s a natural process the bees have to reproduce so it’s hard to prevent. If you see a swarm of bees don’t panic - this is when they are at their most docile. Contact us as soon as you can.
WHEN WILL I GET HONEY?
Beehives are normally harvested towards the end of August. All being well with your colonies you should receive your share of the honey in September.
HOW MUCH HONEY WILL I GET?
Depending on which rental option you choose you can get between 10% - 50% of all harvested honey. This could be anything between 20 - 100 jars per pair of hives.
WILL MY HONEY HAVE A DISTINCTIVE FLAVOUR?
This will be due to the huge mixture of nectar and pollen avail- able to the birmingham honey bee. This also makes it impossi- ble to tell exactly what flavour your honey will have. In urban hives the bees forage in gardens within a 3 mile radius. Normally by the end of the honey season all honey in
Birmingham has sold out, so guard yours with your life!