Xmas tree put to good use

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After moving some of the bee-hives to Killiney there was one that was sitting on a few boards and was very close to the ground. We never got around to making a proper hive stand for it, so it got moved over to an empty space on one of the other hive stands.2015-02-05 12.58.32Now the rule for moving bee-hives is less than 3 feet or greater than 3 miles for a period of 3 weeks. This is because when bees leave their hive for the first time they map the area where their hive is so they know where to return to. So if a hive is moved for example 10 meters or 1 kilometre away the bees will recognise the area they are flying in and return to their old hive position. When a bee-keeper wants to move a hive within their apiary they usually have to move it less than 3 feet at a time or else take it away to a different apiary that is greater than 3 miles away. The reason for the 3 weeks is that summer bees are short lived and usually when they reach the stage of foraging for nectar and pollen they are already reaching the end of their lives and will not be around in 3 weeks time.Now this is all very well but at this time of the year the bees are not coming out that often and many bees will reorientate if they haven't been out in a couple of weeks. The idea here with the branch of the Xmas tree tied to the bamboo cane is that it will force the bees to reorientate as they leave the hive. When they poke their heads out through the entrance they will not recognise their surroundings and will re-map the area. Well that's the theory anyway, fingers crossed they all don't go back to the old position which is 7 meters away.2015-02-05 12.58.41

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