With help from a professional beekeeper, members of the Ørsted Beekeeping Club learn how to care for the hives and their buzzing occupants, gather honey, and then sling, filter, and bottle it. They inspect the bees, eggs and larvae, treat for bee diseases, and check if the hives are invaded by other insects. They locate the queen and assess her well-being, check the maturity of the honey in the frames, and gauge whether it is ripe and ready for harvest. In short, they get a unique, close-up view of the bee universe.
“Bees can appear chaotic. Then you find out they can fly up to two kilometers away from their hives to gather pollen and nectar and return to the hive and communicate the colour, fragrance, direction, and distance of those flowers by dancing in unique figure-eight patterns,” says Jeppe Johansen, a wind power engineer who participated in establishing the beekeeping club. “It’s amazing how complex the organisation of a beehive is and to realize how bees communicate between each other – and also very fascinating from an engineering point of view,” he adds.
Established in 2018, the club is a meeting place for employees who enjoy nature, honey, and bees. It aims to increase awareness about bees and their role in the pollination of flowers and plants. The bees are tended April through September, when they go gather pollen and nectar; and fed sugar syrup when they hibernate in winter.
In 2020, Ørsted’s hives produced 88kg of honey, which were sold to employees for about USD 4-5 per jar to help cover costs of the Club’s beekeeping equipment.