21 Days of a Bee’s Life

The first 21 days of a bee’s life can be marred by the invasion of a parasitic mite. In this fascinating TED Talk video, Anand Varma gets up close to film bees in his back garden for a project to appear in the May 2015 issue of National Geographic Magazine, highlighting one of a number of reasons for the decline in the bee population.

Having become interested in the plight of our natural bees a few years ago and creating a bee farm in my back garden to attract pollinating bees of the solitary variety, Anand’s thrilling photography and informative talk fascinated me. Each year I add to the available ‘nesting’ houses and cylinders full of nesting tubes and eagerly await sunny spring days to warm my south-east facing farm nestling against a wall in my garden. Coincidentally, before discovering ’21 days of a bee’s life’, just today I ordered yet another nesting cylinder and replacement nesting tubes to replenish any unsuccessful ‘incubators’ from last season; no doubt a nod to me from the universe to continue helping these tiny forces of nature multiply.

Please watch the video, it’s worth it for the photography alone, and if it sparks you into creating a Bee farm of your own, then the universe has done its job and the plight of the world’s bees will have received another helping hand.

Included here are some photos of my back garden bee farm, where activity is in full buzz (!) Not in any way as impressive as those of Anand but it does show you how easy it is to provide a good nesting area for these vital little creatures. And the so-called solitary bees (Red Mason, Leafcutter Bees etc) are not aggressive as they do not make honey. Rarely, if ever, will they sting as they have no honey to protect, making this type of bee farming safe and fascinating for families with young children.

Nesting Solitary Bees

If you’re interested in finding out more about solitary bees and providing habitats for helping them nest, leave me a comment and I’ll reply with links to more information about building a bee farm.

19 thoughts on “21 Days of a Bee’s Life

  1. Ellie, what a wonderful idea! I will watch the video when I get home from work. Love your bee farm. We have a bush at the bottom of our garden that was awash with bees last summer. They are wonderful creatures. I’d like links please xxx


  2. Fascinating stuff Ellie! WE have bees in the wood next to us and the local beekeeper has lost almost half the hives these last 2 or 4 years to Asian Hornets – problem seems to be being resolved now but they’re desperately trying to replenish hives. I’ll take some notes from your post and video! 🙂


    • Hehe… I know the feeling – once, in my corporate days, I sent a sensitive email to the wrong Ann in the email distribution list!! Very tricky discussions took place following that one – flipping was not one of the words I chose to describe auto correct on that occasion!!!


  3. We have recently set up, rather my husband has set up two hives. We have a neighbor that has mason bees and we spoke to him just a few days ago and observed their process. It’s very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • How wonderful that you’ve set up two hives. I don’t have enough land to put set up hives far enough away from the house, so the solitary, pollinating, bees are ideal from my point of view. Means no honey unfortunately though!


  4. Hello there – thanks so much for asking if I would mind you reblogging this 21 Days of a Bee’s Life post, I appreciate you taking the trouble to contact me requesting permission to use it.

    I wouldn’t mind at all and as long as clear credit and a link back to the original post on my blog is given, I’d be delighted for it to be published on your shared site. So pleased you found the information here interesting and, hopefully, useful. I’ll certainly sign up to follow ‘Wild Pollinator Gardens’ too, you provide such a wealth of information about both Bumblebees and Solitary Bees. Great job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post simply because my very first blog is called Busybee Cityscape as a homage to the Mancunian symbol of the ‘bee’ which denotes industrious & hardworking…
    May I kindly ask, I have noticed that we both have the same WP theme and I’m curious to know how you have customised your font and added a customised header image…how did you do this and did you pay for the customisation?
    I haven’t got a clue about blogging, could do with a mentor and achieve my results purely on luck…
    Thanks in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Angela, Thanks so much for your kind comment 🙂 I do have the paid for upgrade but you can achieve a customised header and font from Appearance in your Dashboard without electing for the customise upgrade. My header is actually just a logo – logo’s are inserted from the Dashboard by going to Appearance>Customise (in the left-hand panel) then choosing the Site Title, Tagline and Logo option and following the prompts. If you want to insert a customised full-width header image, that is achieved by choosing the ‘Header Image’ option instead of the ‘Logo’ one. Theme recommended header sizes are shown in the drop-down option. If you don’t use image resizing software, you can crop/resize the header image in WP after adding your new header image.

      Different Fonts are also available to choose from the Dashboard – again via Appearance>Customise – but this time chose Fonts and then scroll through those available for both headings and main body. The Font options to choose from (size, regular, bold, light, thin, italic etc) vary, dependent upon the font chosen.

      There are a variety of colours available from the ‘Colours and Backgrounds’ option in the panel and if none of the palette background colours are appealing, then you can change just the background by hovering over the background colour box, clicking ‘change’ and choosing your own colour. The colour of my blog name, body and sidebar widget text is a customised CSS choice. This change has to be customised in the Theme’s Style Sheet (hence the acronym CSS – customise style sheet) and requires the paid for ‘upgrade’ to be achieved.

      I hope you find this helpful and if you get really stuck then you can open a Support Ticket and get help from a Happiness Engineer – they have so much more knowledge than I do and really are great at getting back to you within a reasonably short time, considering how many help requests they are constantly receiving. The easiest way to find the correct place to go is to search Google, for example, “How do I change the background colour in the WordPress.com Theme Nucleare”. That type of search usually takes me to a variety of WP Support pages for the theme.

      Good luck with customising your site – if you need any assistance with adding a contact page so that people can get in touch without publicly displaying lengthy requests or replies, let me know, I’m happy to describe how to achieve it. Not knowing what level of knowledge you are at with WordPress, my apologies if you know some of this info already.

      Kind regards,

      Liked by 1 person

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