At Fordoun we have 11 beehives, hidden in a shady garden spot where disturbance is unlikely. We keep expanding our colonies because bees are so important. It’s not only for their honey but for the very good reason that “if the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live” – an alarming statement usually attributed to Albert Einstein.
As pollinators, bees play a vital part in every aspect of the ecosystem. They support the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants, which serve as food and shelter for creatures large and small.
The number of bees per hive is highly variable based on the time of the year and location. They can contain between 10,000 to 60,000 honey bees and the larger the hive, the more effective it is at producing honey. At Fordoun we estimate that there are perhaps over 250,000 bees going about their business daily. They sustain diversity of life and they feed us. And this all for free!
Happy Matungwa and Gavin Stewart are our beekeepers who service and manage the Fordoun hives, in return for some of the delicious honey.
The term “Queen bee” is widely used to describe powerful women. Good choice of words, since the insect Queen bee is one impressive female. Her pheromone signals regulate the hive. In addition, she is much bigger than the Worker bees.
The Queen is the life of the hive. Not in a “life of the party” way, but as the giver of life. The Queen is the largest bee and lays all of the eggs that maintain the hive population. To keep her strength up, the Worker bees (other females) prepare for her a special diet of royal jelly.
What do the male Drones do? Well, you can guess. They fly around outside the hive, waiting to mate with the Queen. Then they die off.
In a healthy hive this routine fluctuates with the seasons and goes on for years.
An ageing Queen may leave the hive with up to 60 percent of the workers and fly off to start a new hive, leaving a daughter queen to inherit the original hive. If she is ailing or no longer producing viable bees, the colony may sting her to death.
A replacement Queen can be added by a beekeeper, or, if there are viable eggs, the colony may feed a continuous diet of royal jelly to a larva and create a new Queen. If there are several of the brood being nurtured as possible Queens, the first new Queen bee to emerge will kill all the other developing Queens…Yikes! Then she reigns supreme and the life of the hive goes on.
The Fordoun Chickens
Happy free-range chickens and delicious fresh eggs! It is one of the most rewarding and interesting activities at Fordoun. Read More…
Recipe – Haloumi and Spring Onion stuffed Chicken Roulade, served with a warm Roasted Baby Beetroot, Butternut and Spinach Salad Drizzled with a Burnt Sage Velouté.
A MIDLANDS FLING
REVIEW: Fordoun Hotel & Spa Durbanite
President Of The East Coast – Fishing At Fourdoun:
Join the East Coast Presidential hopefuls as they head up to the Midlands Meander and try their hand at fly fishing… Who will be eliminated next?
|The launch of Elliot’s book. This new offering from Penguin Books SA go to site A Sangoma’s Story, tells of the calling of Elliot Ndlovu. Click here for more information.|
Great news! A dedicated article about Fordoun Spa, the first in the KwaZulu Natal series, was published – https://simonandbaker.com/fordoun.html
Magnus Samuelson with Elliott Ndlovu ( video link )
Magnus Samuelson with Graham Neilson ( video link )
The Land of Legends is an association of tourism-linked businesses that get together to showcase the quality, beauty and diversity that KZN has to offer, says Fordoun Hotel and Spa GM Richard Bates. ‘All members need to have historical links and a strong social and environment focus; most importantly, a philosophy that what you put into the association is more important than what you get out. The ass o c i at i o n ’s Ingwazi Awards is an opportunity to acknowledge those who have made KZN a better place. This year we recognised two brilliant conservationists, Andrew Zaloumis, CEO of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and Simon Naylor, conservation manager at Phinda’
We are very proud to have been chosen as the Best Boutique Hotel Spa in South Africa at the 12th annual Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards in July.The 2016 Spa Awards consisted of six categories, namely Day Spa, Hotel Spa, Boutique Hotel Spa, Unique Spa Concept, Safari Spa and Aesthetic/Medi Spa categories. Read more…