Last night I learnt that there are many things that we must battle against if we are to keep bees. The first of these is time, as we still have to wait for another month for even the possibility of getting bees. Even then we might not get them as it is all dependent on the bees themselves. If we are lucky enough (some may not think it lucky) to get them, then we must care for them and look after them and keep my eye out for:

Chill brood
Chalk brood
American Foul Brood – Paenibacillus larvae
European Foul Brood – Melissococcus plutonis
Varroa destructor
Acarapis woodii
Nosema apis
Wax Moth
Sacbrood virus
Chronic bee paralysis virus
Acute bee paralysis virus
Black queen cell virus
Deformed wing virus
Tropilaelaps mites
Small Hive Beetle

*Woodpeckers! In Ireland? Reports of sightings have been made in Strangford.

There is also a teacher in my school who is very resistant to us getting bees. She is aghast at the thought of the little man beeing around (sorry) the bees. This is a worry of ours  and the suggestion, by another colleague, of putting up an electric fence to keep him away from the hives did not sit well with any of us. It was a suggestion in jest  we hope. We do intend to build a fence around the apiary that will have a locked gate. It will not be Fort Knox but it should be enough for a well defined boundary. The apiary will also be on the opposite end of our gardens, well away from the garden that we intend to use for relaxing and enjoying life. We would never have dreamed of keeping bees without the space we now find ourselves in. I have also talked to some friends who grew up around bees with no ill effects. It seems that a near mythical fear of the hives must be encouraged from an early age. They all tell me it was not a terror fear but one of respect. The lovely Sharon and I both took this all on board and we don’t really know the answers.