Hello, and thanks for the warm welcome.
We own, and have developed, a trout fishing resort near to the village of Magaliesburg, in the North West province of South Africa. I’ve always had a vague interest in bees. In about the middle of summer last year (October), one of our employees asked if he could harvest honey from a colony of wild bees that he had found close to one of our fishing dams. Because of its location (close to the fishing public) he was given the go-ahead. We all shared in this harvest (the honey was great) but unfortunately his methods were destructive to say the least and the colony was wiped out. Not long after, he again asked permission to harvest from another two wild colonies on the property. It’s then that we decided to move them into new homes and venture into the world of bee-keeping. We bought all our kit and two hives and moved the two wild colonies into the hives but ended up combining them as one of the queens got lost in the mix. I started making my own hives (complete with frames) and we now have ten full hives and three 5 frame nucs. The hives have been populated with a mix of trap-outs (four) and swarms (six) – the nucs are empty and waiting for spring. We had one small honey harvest in January this year and the honey was heartily enjoyed by friends and family – we even sold some to our trout fishing clients.
Of course all our bees are AHB’s but, we don’t find them notoriously aggressive – I suppose it’s what you are used to. In the time we’ve had them I’ve taken five stings and my son one – not too bad. Anyway, we love our bees and have already had great pleasure from them.
Cheers for now