There is a humming and a buzzing at CEWE's business premises! Since the end of June 2019, two honeybee colonies which by now have grown to four, have made their home next to a hotel for insects. The colonies are a fixed feature of CEWE because, contrary to many other businesses, they have not been leased, but bought. The beekeeper's association Imkerverein Oldenburg e. V. helped to make this colony become a reality. The chairperson of Imkerverein Oldenburg e.V., Dörthe Heuer, helps to care for the colonies. In the medium term, however, CEWE employees are to independently care for the bees and harvest the honey. For this, they must first train to become a beekeeper and learn all there is to know about beekeeping. Three CEWE employees started their training to become certified beekeepers in early 2020 and successfully graduated in mid-July.
To offer a nutritious source of food throughout the year to the bees, a meadow of wild blooms is in the making. The seed blend used will also be an ideal food source for wild bees and various species of birds. In addition, CEWE has set up a large hotel for insects which shelters wild bees and other insects.
A bee colony can produce around 50 kg of honey per year. To produce this much honey, bees must land on around 200 million blossoms. Honeybees will look for food within a 3-4 km radius of their hive.
Anywhere between 40,000 and 80,000 bees can make up a colony. A large part of that are worker bees, some are drones, and there is one queen bee. The queen bee can live for up to four years, while a worker bee will only live to be around for eight weeks.
You, too, can provide an important contribution by designing your garden or balcony to welcome honeybees. Be sure to follow these basic rules:
1. Diversity instead of monoculture: Plant a variety of different indigenous plants to offer a rich selection of food. The more diverse, the better!
2. A year-round supply of food: Ideally you will grow plants that flower early, in mid-season, and then again later in the season to offer a source of food to wild bees throughout the year.
3. Not all flowers are created equal: Use the plant finder on bee-careful.de to locate suitable flowers for your garden or balcony that bees will like. Some examples for use on a balcony include the mini snapdragon, lavender, lesser calamint or the common heather. Sunflowers are popular bee magnets in the garden, as are nasturtium, marigold flowers, or heather.