It is surprising just how easily a person becomes quite attached to their honey bees. I wouldn’t have thought it possible but once the bees are established and you get over the initial wariness of the possibility of getting stung then you experience the pleasure of entering the wonderful world of the insect.
I have always loved honey and usually have a little every single day, so whether my skin oozes a small amount of its smell or not I am unsure. What I do know is that the beautiful lady worker bees land on my skin and dip their tongues onto it and appear to lick me. This tickles just a little but after a short while they take off and go about their business. They do appear to like strolling about on bare skin. The variety of these bees is called Buckfast. They are noted for their gentleness and their ease of establishing themselves in the average garden.
When they leave the hive, they do not fly straight across the garden but always go upwards and then choose a particular direction that they wish to take. So they are up and away from both yourself and your neighbours. As with any other pet you must make sure that you supply fresh water for your bees. This is often best placed into a bird bath or earthenware dish that is filled with large pebbles before adding any water. This ensures that the bees are able to drink without drowning. The next important thing to remember is that there are no flowers during the early part of the year and unless you know that your bees have ample honey stores to eat then you do need to feed them. They do fairly well on inverted sugar syrup and honey which you can easily make yourself.
Basic recipes involve white cane sugar, water, a small squirt of freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice and a pinch of food grade citric acid. It is the orange, lemon and/or citric acid which inverts the sugar mixture and this helps the bees to digest it easily. In real emergencies then sugar may be given straight from the packet – it is better to feed instantly than leave the bees to starve.
Our beautiful lady Buckfast honey bees