Jul 11th. 2013

A beautifully presented loft apartment in the up and coming N1 area. SOLD STC.

After a really tough long winter followed by a cold spring our colony struggled. Like a lot of hives around the UK we lost a lot of bees and honey stocks will be low. So we had to look for new tenants, and our landlords came up trumps with a new colony from just down the road – Camley Street Nature Park.

Bess can’t move more than three miles away form their original home, they had to be taken to a back garden in Hackney for a few days first and were then moved into their new home at Wolff Olins.

They were moved from Camley Street by putting six frames of about 10,000 bees (workers and a queen) and brood (babies) and food in a travelling box and then leaving the box until night time when all the bees are back from foraging. The small entrance hole is sealed and the box transported to Hackney in the back of a car and put in the garden and the hole unsealed.

In the morning the bees are out and about. A few nights later, the entrance is again blocked and the next morning they were taken to Wolff Olins and placed in their new home with the entrance unblocked so they could come out and get their bearings – they literally map their new location.

That evening the six frames and bees were transferred from the travelling box to the hive, which is located in the same place. Any bees that were out for the day would come home to their new bigger home (11 frames) and their queen. The queen is now busy laying lots of eggs in the new home and the workers are busy looking after the new born as well as foraging for pollen to feed the babies and nectar to turn into honey. Business as usual.

Unfortunately the apartment contract says: No house parties – which is just as well, we need to leave them be while they settle in.

Alison Benjamin, co founder of Urban Bees & Ben Gibbs, designer at Wolff Olins