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A committed beekeeper will be comfortable with heading great distances to create new hives, and that means having a good quality vehicle. In some cases, as Today have highlighted, bees will choose the vehicle themselves. The average beekeeper will hope for a greater level of control, however, and that will involve having the correct equipment to facilitate the collection, depositing, and proper care of a hive.
Beehives vary in size by quite a lot. The British Beekeeping Association outlines how the average bee colony ranges from 35-40,000 insects in summer to 5,000 in winter. The hive will be at least 355 x 140mm in size, meaning that a vehicle with the correct dimensions is needed to properly and safely transport bees. Trucks and mid-size pickups are ideal for this purpose, and have the added of benefit of being able to help the beekeeper isolate the hive from themselves while driving – an important safety features.
An equally important part of a beekeeper’s vehicle is the features it has to call on in terms of emergency. While bees are friendly creatures that only attack in the absolute worst-case situation, there does always remain the risk of being stung. The vehicle should be as well-sealed as possible to prevent the risk of bees getting anywhere near the driver while on the road – that’ll protect the driver, other motorists, and the bees themselves.
As beekeepers get going, they may find their operation getting bigger and bigger over time, or they might find more opportunities to pick up errant swarms and help them into new hives. If this is the case, you might need a bigger vehicle or a trailer to help transport the hives. Ensuring the vehicle you use has the power to pull a trailer or hitch is essential. Making sure your vehicle has the power and longevity to make these trips, and isn’t liable to breakdown or require regular maintenance, is a good idea – look for something that’s a real workhorse and will be with you throughout whatever trips you take.
Finding such a vehicle will help you to make the most out of the opportunities you have as a beekeeper. It’ll help you to be able to help bees who are looking for a new hive or home, and help to preserve the critical agriculture that those pollinators work so hard to maintain.