Support wild honey bee populations by building a log hive under the guidance of natural beekeeping expert, Matt Somerville. Designed to stand alone, on stilts, or sited high up in the tree tops, log hives offer wild honey bees a non-intrusive home. Supporting our bees as pollinators, rather than honey producers, log hives are designed to offer good insulation in Winter or Summer, mimicking the environment bees choose in the wild. With minimal intervention, the bees are subject to natural selection which weeds out the weak, thus creating strong, healthy colonies capable of coping with pests and diseases. This is a low intensity way to keep bees offering minimal stress for both the bees and the beekeeper.
Outline of the day
9.30am Registration in the Ormandy Centre. Welcome and introduction to Waltham Place.
10.00am Making a Log Hive. Matt Somerville will introduce us to the tools and techniques used for making log hives, plus Health and Safety guidance. Practical session hollowing out the log hives to their required diameter. This session will include a tea-break and the opportunity to visit the estate’s log hives if you wish to. Log hive making is physical work, so you may find a short break, with a walk and talk, a useful addition to the session.
1.00pm Lunch time. A warming lunch of estate produce will be served along with hot and cold refreshments.
1.45pm Practical session to finish the log hives, drilling holes in the front and fitting top and base plates. N.B: Each log is different, so timings may vary depending on the individual log and the strength or skill of the maker.
This session will include a tea-break and the opportunity to visit the estate’s log hives if you wish to.
4.00pm How to prepare a hive for bees. Matt will explain how to bait the hive to attract bees. Also, how to insulate and waterproof your hive. Each log hive is different and can be customised to suit it's surroundings. A decorative hackle can be made from straw, water reed, wood etc. Some people even use metal or other waterproof containers as a ‘hat’ to protect their hives. It's up to you! Matt will offer advice and instructions on how to make a straw hackle (hat) for your hive, and advice on how to site the hive in a tree or on long legs.
Legs and straw hackles are available to order from Matt if you do not wish to make your own at home (firstname.lastname@example.org). A consultancy service is also available by private arrangement, for those who wish to site their hive in a tree but cannot do so themselves.
5.00pm Tidy up and pack away tools. We hope you will enjoy your log hive and would welcome news on the progress of your bees! Please send us a picture when it has been sited.
You are welcome to bring an assistant to help you make your log hive. We charge just £10 extra to cover their lunch and refreshments on the day. If you wish to do so please select both the Log Hive Course and Extra Lunch for Assistant options.
Price: £250 per Log Hive, £10 per Extra Lunch for Assistant*
*Maximum of one assistant per log hive