Lifestyle, Stories

My 10,000 girls…

You all know I got four children but the  ones  of you that know me in real life,  also know that I have some extra   10,000 to 50,000  little girls. The number depends on  the time of the year!

 

 

I am an urban beekeeper!

and

I LOVE MY BEES!!!!

 

Beekeeping is just  FANTASTIC!!!!

Even simply sitting down near the hive with a cup of tea or..indeed a crochet project and watching the coming and going of the hive is an extremely relaxing experience.

I went into beekeeping for many reasons, one of them is that by keeping just one hive you are immediately introducing 50,000 pollinators into an urban area, and that can have a huge impact on the environment. I like the idea of making a difference as an ordinary individual, considering the fact that , most of the time, we can’t seem to affect any of the sad things that are happening to the earth.

As many of you ,due to the  media coverage,   I started to become aware that bees were having a hard time from a combination of pesticide use, parasites and poor nutrition, and it also became quite obvious that they were doing better in towns and cities than in the countryside. I guess reduced pesticide use in towns, coupled with year-round forage in gardens and parks means honeybees could have a better chance of survival in urban areas.

So that is why they love their home in the middle of Glasgow!!

So , one Christmas, Santa brought me a beautiful Hive and that spring my first  nucleus arrived.( a nucleus is a  small honey bee colony created from larger colonies.)

I couldn’t have managed any of the above without the help and expertise of Ed,  ( you  can see the two of us checking the  hive’s progress and doing some spring cleaning… ).

Ed used to be at school with one of my brothers in law and is a professional beekeeper and an expert in  urban beekeeping .

 

He owns several hives of  and also he  helps people like me that want to keep bees as a hobby.

My colony has settled really well; they are gentle natured girls..( yes there is such a thing as “grumpy bees” !! )

Last year I had many afternoon sitting watching them , understanding how the colony works  and as a bonus , after making sure they had enough honey to get them trough the winter, we got a few jars of delicious honey! So I am looking forward this new season of beekeeping

in the picture below a frame of raw honey, plenty of food for all the new bees ready to hatch.

Look at the girls coming in carring little bags of pollen on their legs!

I am soo hooked on beekeeping that in the next few weeks I think I  will split my original colony  and add another hive as I got plenty of space and they seems to love their spot.

I could go on for pages telling you loads of stories, fact and technicalities but this blog is about crochet, so, back to yarn, colours and hooks,  my next project is dedicated to my lovely buzzing girls!

To explain what I am going to do I am adding another small  fact about bees:

 

Like us, bees are trichromatic. That means they have three photoreceptors within the eye and base their colour combinations on those three colours. Humans base their colour combinations on red, blue and green, while bees base their colours on ultraviolet light, blue and green. This is the reason why bees can’t see the colour red. They don’t have a photoreceptor for it. They can, however, see reddish wavelengths, such as yellow and orange. They can also see blue-green, blue, violet, and “bee’s purple.” Bee’s purple is a combination of yellow and ultraviolet light. That’s why humans can’t see it.

The most likely colours to attract bees, according to scientists, are purple, violet and blue.

So that is what I have chosen as hues for my next blanket!…I  am soo excited about as it is going to be beautiful !! I let you see a small preview..because I have already started ….

 

to the next,  stay tuned!!!

happy hooking, love to you all

Lucia xx

9 Comments

  1. Barbara Bellalta

    April 3, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Fantastic, Lucia!
    I can only imagine the relaxation you describe while sitting with your bees. The blanket thus far looks like it’s inspired by the shape of a honeycomb. I’m following the progress.
    Thank you for such wonderful work.

    Sincere regards,

    Barbara

  2. Jen Tyler

    April 3, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    What a lovely, inspiring post! THANK YOU so much for all you do for the Bees! Years ( and years ) ago I worked on a Kibbutz in Israel and my job was making those Bee boxes, melting the wax onto the copper strands then slotting them into the box. It was fascinating. I learned so much and I also lost my fear of Bees altogether. 🙂 xx

  3. Trish Annie Stevens

    April 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Lucia! Really interesting post. I used to want to keep bees, but as I saw bees swarming once, I got too scared to try. Like so many, I’ve been aware of the loss of bees, and I’ve signed petitions against the use of pesticides that harm them…but it never occurred to me that I could help by actually keeping some! Food for thought. The new blanket looks fabulous, can’t wait to see it develop!

  4. [email protected]

    April 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    It’s completely wonderful following your stories and getting to know more about you as you interweave your life experiences with your crochet designs….blogging and creativity at it’s best 🙂 xxxx

  5. Barbara

    April 4, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Che meraviglia LUCIA… Il mondo delle api mi ha sempre affascinato e leggere di loro sulle tue pagine mi ha proprio sorpreso e incuriosito! Un grosso in bocca al lupo per il tuo prossimo progetto ispirato dalle tue bambine alate… E quando puoi raccontaci un po di loro….

  6. Jenny

    April 5, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Hi Lucia,
    This looks wonderful, thank you for sharing. I love the idea behind the colours. We are beekeepers too but in a rural area ( Lincolnshire). Your April ( apiary?) blanket might be the push I need to make one for me, I am fascinated by the colours of the pollen the bees bring in so I might use that as a basis for mine. I am really enjoying your year of blankets and I am totally in awe of your creativity and dedication.
    Best wishes
    Jenny

    1. admin

      April 5, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Fantastic Jenny! I m working on mine at the moment, and I have no idea what the blanket is going to look like! that one of the things I like most of wht I do it is to see the blanket developing, and making something that has a meaning. I would love to see your blanket when you are done! and also we can have a lot of bees’ chats too !!!
      all the best,
      lucia x

  7. Lisa

    April 17, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Love this! I think it’s a great thing you’re doing, and wish you all the best with the second hive. Keep updating us, it’s a very neat part of you life. 🙂

  8. Paddy Balsdon

    May 17, 2017 at 7:29 am

    It has been lovely reading about your love of bees – I feel like I know you now. I also love what you are doing with crochet and thank you for sharing with us.
    Paddy – South Africa

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