For a few years now I’ve wanted to have bees on our allotment plot. Couple of difficulties with the public fear of bees meant that I was blocked from having bees there – long story that I have told far too many times. Either way pending a (so far) 6 week council review period I am hoping to have bees on my plot.
Keeping bees on an allotment plot would generally be advised to be in an enclosure, to prevent bees interrupting gardening activities; driving the bees up above head height to prevent bee-line collisions on their way to forage. I had planned one before and got as far as put posts up in preparation for a netting enclosure. This then became a rose garden and an asparagus bed (which didn’t work out), which then became overgrown.
I decided to have a clear up preparing for the bees. Fortunately on most of the area I had put down weed blanket; less fortunately I had put down wood chip which seemed to have a habit of turning to soil covered in weeds. Luckily I had used decent weed blanket which has survived underneath and was up to some sustained trauma while I pulled and scraped weeds off the top.
After a fair few hours of work the area now looks a lot better, cleaned of weeds, a nice spot for a hive, with wood chippings on the floor. One post had rotted had to be replaced. Along the top of the posts I put a wire in place to hang the mesh from for the bees to fly over. Also in the area there is a water butt fed by the shed roof; I plan to float something on the water surface, as otherwise bees make a habit of drowning. Having a water source so close by should be good for the bees also, with shorter flights; also it should be good for other allotment holders as bees visiting water sources can be a cause for conflict.
So, cross fingers that I can start using the space for its intended purpose soon.