We had the privilege to take a peek behind-the-scenes at Amplatz organic apiary and to find out how a bee colony is set up.
How does one go about establishing a bee colony?
In a nutshell: the bee colony is not ruled democratically, but rather by a queen bee.
The founding principle for the new bee colony is that a new home is created in the form of a new bee hive.
As soon as the new hives have been assembled, the search for a new queen can begin in May or June. Ideally she would already have been selected and bred during the previous year.
In additional cages, which are sealed shut with a sugar-based dough, the queen bee and the vanguard of the new colony become acquainted with one another for the first time. Together, they consume the insides of the chambers - it is during these 2 to 3 days, that the new colony get used to the queen bee's presence.
Then the queen bee is suspended between the hive frames and waits there until she has further increased in size. For this purpose, bees are removed from existing strong colonies and pushed into the new dwelling until roughly two kilograms of bees are buzzing around inside.
The young colonies are then finally settled in their own hive, to allow them to develop there undisturbed. Here they are fed and are moved little by little into bigger hives so as to be ready for winter.