+1 vote
asked by anonymous
There are lots of stories in the press about the declining numbers of honey bees, and how important bees are as pollinators in the garden, and I'd really like to encourage more bees into my garden.

I have planted lots of purple plants and this year we have more bees than ever before, a few honey bees, but mainly the larger bumble bees.

Whilst I would like to keep honey bees for environmental reasons, I'm not bothered about the honey, if I left the honey in the hives would the bees just stay there forever?  Could I just leave them to get on and do there own thing or is there more to it than that?

It's difficult to get any advice from the locals around here, I live in quite a rural yet industrially farmed area and attempts to find bee keepers in the area who can advise have so far proved fruitless.

I have searched online and there are people selling queen bees, I'm not sure how queen bees are delivered by post, but I imagine I would need more than a queen bee and a hive to get going?
commented by anonymous
I think that if you are going to do this you should harvest the honey, there is a risk that if you don't then the bees can start storing honey in places where they would usually raise young bees, and then there is nowhere for the young bees to be raised so they die out.   The best case scenario would be that some of the bees would swarm and find a new home somewhere else.    I have been beekeeping for many years and I really feel that I am working with the bees, I don't feel that I am steeling their honey because they produce far too much for their needs.

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