Back to work

What’s the first thing that you do when you get back from your holiday?  Put the washing machine on?  Make a nice cup of tea? (Yorkshire of course, it never tastes quite the same anywhere else!)

In our case it was up to the apiary to check the hives.  And there we found rather a large swarm on a branch of one of the apple trees.

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As you can see from the bottom picture they were persuaded into a hive that we had prepared for just this sort of eventuality.  They’re still there and settling in nicely and a cheeky tweet to Virgin Wines about the usefulness of their boxes got us re-tweeted to their 22K followers.  I may be getting the hang of this social media lark!

Watch this space next week as we should be ready to launch this season’s honey – just the jarring and labelling to finish first.

 

 

Starting to harvest

This is the best time of year, as we start to see whether or not all the bees’ efforts and our attempts not to confound them, are paying off.  So far the indications are good!  Jan, the beekeeping brains of the outfit, has been checking frames today and taking capped honey off.

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Your intrepid photographer was keeping a safe distance.  I had another job to do. One of the joys of having a plot full of pollinators is that we also get other benefits.  This year’s raspberry crop is particularly good.  I feel a summer pudding coming on!

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P is for planting (or just letting things grow!)

Half of the plot on which our apiary is situated is orchard, the other half is left as wildflower meadow.  It really comes into its own at this time of year.

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It gives the bees something close to the hives after the fruit blossom is spent and is lovely to look at.

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Centaura – a bee favourite!

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Although the honey bees love the variety of plants (and what others might define as weeds…..) they are also good for other pollinators.

 

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Of course the by-product of all this activity is honey.  This capped frame has come off the hive today.

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A new bee-ginning!

Re-igniting the buzz

I set up our first Stottercliffe Honey website a couple of years ago.  It was hard.  Trying to learn website design on the fly, on a Sunday afternoon, basically because everyone said it was crucial if we were to put ourselves out there.

It didn’t get much in the way of updating, and nobody (including us) noticed when it quietly died as I had managed to buy the domain and website hosting separately and the domain registration lapsed.

So here I am trying again.  Facebook and twitter work well for us, but the website felt like unfinished business, and I’m a bit stubborn when it comes to working things out.  It’s very much work in progress but I’m hoping to keep this one up to date.

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