We lifted the lid on the beehive today to check in with the colony, weigh it and feed the bees some syrup. The were perky & alert and Peadar Lynch, our head beekeeper is happy with how they fared through the cold winter.
The bees are “Munster Black Bees” or Irish Black Bees of the species Apis Mellifera Mellifera. They are native and particularly well adapted to the Irish climate, having evolved a few energy-saving innovations in their breeding and maturation patterns to adapt to the cold.
The hive has the brood box on top of the super and has been left with it’s own honey after the winter. The plan is to split the hive or gain a new swarm in the far orchard. We’ll have a new hive prepared for the occasion and perhaps some Lemon Balm or Melissa officinalis planted to welcome the new colony.
The Heritage community garden is verging on paradise for bees given the abundance of apple blossoms, so many vegetables and flowering plants in the vicinity. The Vegetable garden in turn will benefit from having such tenacious pollinators next door and all the herbaceous borders & herbs being planted over the coming weeks by Kevin, Jean and Bernard will be a feast of fodder for the colonies in the far orchard.