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.
... 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
We’ll be reporting about the harvest, so make sure to check the blog!
Number of bees: approx. 20.000
Estimated honey harvest: approx. 20 kg
Bad "bzzz" jokes in this article: 5+
Photos by THE FIZZ Hannover