If your garden is surrounded by tall enough hedges, you can install a few beehives there. They will bring you organic honey and improve the pollination of your fruits and vegetables.
Before launching your project, check with your town hall to find out the local legislation.
In general, beehives should be placed more than 20 meters from roads, more than 100 meters from collective establishments (school, hospitals, barracks, etc.), at least two meters from the periphery of the land and behind a wall or a two-inch hedge. meters high. If these conditions are met, they can be even in town. The ideal remains an untreated wood, orchard or meadow. Count 30 beehives at most in a circle one kilometer in radius in an area rich in flowers.
An easy to build beehive
There are various models of beehives on the market, often square. In nature, bees wild gather in cylindrical clusters: the best is therefore to offer them a rounded space. Obtain a mold to make, using chopped straw and plaster, cylindrical beehives (inside diameter: 36 cm, height: 18 cm, wall thickness: 3 cm, average weight: 5 kg) .
In each beehive, the bees will build 8 combs on wooden sticks fixed by notches. As the honey bee is made by the colony of bees, you will stack them (3 to 8 maximum per hive).
You can replace the plaster with lime or clay (to protect from the rain) and the straw with stems of reeds, nettles, sunflowers or even softwood sawdust (untreated).
The advantages of a beehive in the garden
This ecological method is intended to be more respectful of bees than intensive beekeeping. The bees living in these hives which are better regulated in temperature and humidity are less often sick. Less stressed, they do not want to run away (swarming). Less often disturbed by operations on the hives (heightening, smoking, anti varroa treatments, etc.), they are calmer and will sting you less. Finally, you will not need a juicer to extract the honey, which will not affect its quality. Average harvest per hive: 10 kg.
To read: "Raising bees and making honey", Alison Benjamin and Brian Mc Callum, Terres éditions.
Pierrick Le Louarn