Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General | Posted on 15-05-2013
Mad isn’t it. I remember May last year; the weather was appalling. We had had the most amazing April and the hives were storming away….we then got to May and I doubt the bees got outside for more than 10 minutes in the whole month – it was terrible. I then remember the most crazy swarming season as the bees finally got some good weather in early June and all hives down this area in Surrey went a little loopy.
Therefore I reach mid May and am wondering how my bees are getting on. Sadly two of my hives didn’t survive the winter – but then they were late swarms last year so I didn’t expect too much from them to be honest – but one got out of winter very strong. They have been going well and took a good amount of sugar syrup recently.
However, just as the bees were gathering in strength, the rain has started once more. I am hoping I can get in and get them sorted before they think about swarming. They will be needing space given the amount of brood I saw in there recently. Hopefully this weekend. By the way, the picture on the right are my hives in the evening sunshine….
How are your bees getting on this year?
Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General | Posted on 26-10-2012
How was The National Honey Show 2012?
I have to say that there are times when I feel really glad that I became a beekeeper. Times like the London Honey Show a few weeks back and the event I attended today, The National Honey Show, are a joy. To be honest you couldn’t get two more different events but there are a vital part of the beekeeping calendar.
Whether you want to attend some valuable beekeeping discussions, go shopping for some new kit or simply have a look at some fantastic examples of the products that a hive can produce in the show itself, the National Honey Show is one event to attend at the end of the year when everything else in the beekeeping year. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General | Posted on 09-10-2012
Was The London Honey Show as good as last year?
Last year I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural London Honey Show and it was a raving success. My concern for this years London Honey Show was whether they could keep up the momentum.
The Lancaster Hotel was the host of the show and this year they took over a room at least 4 times the size of the room of last years event and this was the cause for my concern.
Last years London Honey Show was like a pressure cooker which despite the perspiration shed because the turnout was so good, made for an unforgettable atmosphere and something quite different in the beekeeping calendar. Could this years compete? Read the rest of this entry »
Bee swarm removal – an established swarm
Today was one of those picture perfect Autumnal days that are just a joy to be outside. Therefore it was the perfect day to try and move some bees – though late in the year, this was not just any old bee swarm but an established nest with combs to boot. It is not often that I will call in help and I tend to try to muddle on myself and making my own mistakes – which of course helps me learn. Bee swarm removal that has been in situ for 10-12 weeks however needs careful planning and thought. Read the rest of this entry »
So, imagine the scene. I am sitting around a pool basking in the sun at our Property to Rent in Italy and I receive a text from my Mum. Nothing out of the ordinary there aside from the fact that it is purely a picture of a scene that I found quite disturbing. Not for one nanosecond did I expect to see what I saw in front of me and it took me a few seconds to take it in.
Between calls of “come on Dad” and “I want to jump on you Dad” it slowly dawned on me that the picture was the field to the side of our house, complete with three fire engines using hoses. The message accompanying the picture simply said “Exciting” which didn’t really help matters.
I could work out from the aspect that these fire engines were about 25ft from the location of my hives which immediately put a knot in my stomach. It looked pretty serious and I was straight on the phone.
My mum had very kindly agreed to pop around to mow the lawn while we were away and was confronted with this scene as she arrived. As it turned out I was very lucky and the wind was kind to me, blowing the fire in the opposite direction. It was started by a mechanical fault with a tractor while harvesting which sent sparks into the dry hay. Read the rest of this entry »
My Beekeeping Audio Book!
I have been very fortunate and my book (From A to Bee) has been turned into a Beekeeping Audio Book which I had never really expected. As a Result I got in touch with the guy who
was going to be “my voice” and got him to answer a couple of questions. It all felt a little strange to communicate with someone who was going to become my voice! Anyway, this guy was to be Daniel Philpott, a veteran of over 100 audio books (but only now a Beekeeping Audio Book!) and actor to boot, had the difficult job of making my book come to life and I cannot wait to hear it. You can find it on the Audible website for download now. Here were my questions about the beekeeping audio book:
1. How long did the beekeeping audio book take to record and were any bits of it particularly challenging?
From A to Bee took just over two days to record – every audiobook has its particular challenge – with fiction it might be a host different characters needing different voices, with non-fiction documentary it usually is unusual place names which have to be sourced, with fantasy fiction it’s usually both as the author has made up everything – including the place names! With A to Bee the challenge was in the fact that’s it’s a published blog – the narrative is written from James’ perspective almost as a diary following James’ thought-processes through a real life situation. The style is direct and chatty and sentences are a flow of those immediate thought-processes.As an audiobook reader you really need to see things from James’ perspective and understand his character. Read the rest of this entry »
Such is the way with my busy life at the moment I am writing this at 6am as the sun is rising around me and the air is quiet. It is beautiful outside and I can just about see signs of life ticking over trying to wake up. Lovely to witness and I am reminded why I like getting up early every so often.
Anyway, yesterday I was called out to collect a swarm that had arrived 10ft up in a cherry tree…….in August?!? What is this year all about I ask myself. The old beekeeping poem doesn’t even mention August as you can see below!
A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July isn’t worth a fly.
So, I took lots of photos and videos and let me tell you the story of what happened Read the rest of this entry »
Some of you may know that a couple of weeks ago I was confused by a situation I had with one of my hives. I had picked up a good sized swarm from a tree and put it in one of my poly hives. However, these hives are not brilliant for housing swarms as they have an open mesh floor (not great for stopping swarms from absconding apparently) and therefore I put a queen excluder on the bottom so the queen wouldn’t be going anywhere.
As I was told by the owner of the hives that this was the first time the colony had swarmed I was confident it would have been a mated queen. However, a couple of weeks ago there no eggs and obviously no larvae or capped brood. There was lots of capped stores from where I had been feeding them but little else and I simply couldn’t see the queen anywhere. I came to the opinion that I must have had a virgin queen in there and my queen excluder may have been stopping her have her maiden flight. My lovely beekeeping friends on Facebook and Twitter agreed and so I took the queen excluder off.
Low and behold I went in yesterday evening, just over two weeks later, to see three frames of lovely eggs, larvae and sealed brood. She must have been desperate to get out and get mated!
Hive manipulations and the decision making associated is often surprisingly stressful but this seems to have worked out well. I just hope she has enough time to get it together for the slow down in a month or so. Fingers crossed.
This is the second of Dolores’ books that I am reviewing as I enjoyed the first – If I were a Bee – so much. This is another example of a great beekeeping book for children but comes from a slightly different angle; cooking.
I have always believed that Children will be far more likely to enjoy food if they take part in the growing of vegetables and fruit and this remains true here in this book. It really will teach children about honey and its many uses in cooking.
This book looks as fantastic as Dolores’ other books which are illustrated by herself. They are bright and colourful which means they are really attractive to read through. What I really like about this book though is that it is so personal. Dolores dedicates the book to her Grandchildren and promptly names all the recipe’s after them like the delicious sounding Will’s Beelicious Blueberry Pancakes – oh my life, I cannot wait to make these!
It is also lovely to see that Ellie, one of her grandchildren, has actually hand written some of these recipes which are then reproduced in the book. A really nice touch.
Should you like the book, you can purchase it through our store on here for £7 with 10% of all proceeds going towards our two selected beekeeping charities Bees Abroad and Bees for Development who do sterling work for beekeepers in Africa.
I have been having a play recently with a new Social Media phenomenon – Follow me on Pintrest. I really enjoy the userbility of it and the graphical nature of the site. It is true when you hear people say that you will go on there with the intention of staying a couple of minutes but you will genuinely end up staying on there for hours…..and hours……and hours!
Anyway, with its bias towards visual posts I decided to have a go at my first ever infographic. If you haven’t heard of these previously they are basically a visual way of showing information which makes it all look attractive and interesting. Therefore I had a go with an Infographic showing the story of how I got my book – From A to Bee – published. I hope you like it and I will try to do some others soon.