New, lovely friends are allowing me to set some of my own hives on their 5 acres right along the river. They practice permaculture, and the surrounding fields of clover and alfalfa are not sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. My friends are supplying the habitat and I am supplying the honey bee colonies in Bee Tree™ hives.
It’s a win-win-win. The bees enjoy a healthy, diverse, nutrient-rich, pesticide-fee habitat, as well as a hive designed to allow them to live much more like they would choose to live in the wild; my friends enjoy a more flowering and fruitful property through the pollination of the honey bees; and I am provided with a wonderful place to pursue my bee-centered beekeeping goal of propagating an ecotype*.
I closed up the hive, and moved the colony to this location early the other morning with my friend’s help. After setting and leveling the hive, I opened it up to let the bees re-orient and begin foraging. Within just a couple of hours, they had found the sand cherries, as well as other flowering plants and trees, and were bringing back multiple colors of pollen.
*Ecotype: a genetically distinct geographic variety, population or race within a species, which is adapted to specific environmental conditions.