Neil has wanted to introduce bees to Mill Farm for some time now and he has spent a lot of time researching and learning about their lifecycle.
Finally, a few months ago he ordered a 'nucleus of bees', which is a starter colony, and it was arranged that it would be posted to us...I know! Poor postie!
They arrived in the big yellow box and our lovely postie was completely unfazed and very gentle with his precious cargo.
The bees were in their frames in the box and as I carried it out into the garden I was surprised at how heavy, and warm it was. All of those bees busily buzzing away I suppose.
The circles of grill were ventilation for the bees and in the close up you can see them poking their little heads through the 'Bee Jail' bars.
Initially, the bees are left in the yellow box, which is placed where their hive will live.
We've sited their hive in our garden so that they won't be disturbed, and they have a sheltered, sunny spot.
Neil then donned in his attractive bee keeping suit, and while I took the photos from a distance he opened the hatch to let the bees out to explore their new home.
The bees were very calm and focused on surveying their surroundings and not at all interested in us.
After several hours it was time to transfer the frames full of bees into their new residence and with the help of a little smoke to calm them first, Neil opened the yellow box and gently transferred the frames over.
As he did this he had to look for the Queen, as it's very important that she is in the hive. The Queen is larger and marked with a white dot, so she's easier to spot.
Once transferred we just sat back and let the bees settle in and it wasn't long before we saw them flying back to the hive with legs laden with pollen. Hopefully, this is a sign that there's plenty of food for them here and of course with a lake on their doorstep, water won't be an issue either.
Hopefully, if we have good weather and the bees are happy it won't be too long before we can sample some of their delicious honey!