Question: How many tenants live at THE FIZZ Hanover?

If your answer is 303, you’re WRONG: It could be more than 10.000 right now!

How come? That’s because the FIZZies in Hanover have the kindest housemates you could imagine: honeybees!

Last year, House Technician Dirk and House Manager Daniel decided to BUZZ UP THE FIZZ and bought a beehive plus a beekeeper-starter-kit.

What looks like fancy beer-cooling-boxes, are really the homes of thousands and thousands of bees!

Fun fact No. 1: In Germany, any private person is allowed to keep bees.

... As long as they’re kept species-appropriate, of course. You’ll need a hive, big enough to hold the standard 8.000 – 12.000 bees living in one colony. Plus a few additional items like a protective suit and a honey extractor for the harvest. But other than that, bees are really low-maintenance. Just be careful with vermin and draft. A bee-colony can survive temperatures up to -10°C easily!

And don’t worry: Bees are absolutely peaceable animals. They never sting out of malignity. You can come very close to watch them working around the hive. However, do not disturb them by blocking their way or opening the hive too often!

Dirk is taking good care of his babies... and the FIZZies, of course.

By now, the Hanover FIZZ Bees had almost a year to grow and thrive. The two original hives even needed to be upsized to prevent the bees from moving out and looking for a bigger home.

Fun fact No. 2: The queen has sex only ONCE and then carries all the sperms in a stock to produce eggs for the rest of her life.

The lifespan of a bee varies, depending on the type: While a pollen-collecting honeybee and a hive-based drone only live up to 40 days, the queen lives for two to five YEARS. There are only a few male bees in one hive. They have no other meaning than to reproduce with the queen. You could call them SEX-SLAVES. A male bee that hasn’t copulated with the queen is expelled from the hive.

The biggest part of the bees living in the hive are the (female) worker bees. They cannot reproduce but divide the jobs (cleaning and building the hive, feeding the larvae, collecting pollen) among themselves.

There are three types of bees. Can you tell them apart?

As soon as the first trees and flowers start to bloom, the bees collect pollen through the whole year. They do that to feed their larvae and to gather supplies for the winter months – in the shape of the well-known honey. However, they’re doing this so fast and efficiently that one can harvest the honey once or even twice a year.

The first harvest will be at the end of June. For the gourmets of you: It’s going to be best-quality wildflower honey. The bees are collecting all kinds of pollen that they can find in a 3km radius. 3 kilometers – some FIZZies don’t even go shopping that far! Honey from different pollen tastes very aromatic. You can also buy monoculture honey, for example rape or acacia honey.

Our very own THE FIZZ honey ! We’re excited!

For this interview, I spoke to self-proclaimed bee-daddy Dirk. When speaking about the bees, Dirk’s eyes light up and he fizzes of interesting facts about beekeeping. The whole staff of THE FIZZ Hanover is assisting in this wonderful project. THANK YOU!

Who needs the A-team, when we have a BEE-TEAM?

We’ll be reporting about the harvest, so make sure to check the blog!

This is Buzz Lightbee, living at THE FIZZZZZZ

Counter:

Number of bees: approx. 20.000

Stitches: 4

Estimated honey harvest: approx. 20 kg

Bad "bzzz" jokes in this article: 5+

Read more info about bees (in German).

Photos by THE FIZZ Hannover