Preparations for winter should begin immediately after the honey harvest. Treat your bees and feed them as soon as possible or they might not be there to greet you come spring. Continue reading Wintering Bees
Michaelmas, or the Feast of St.Michael, is one of the four quarter days which mark the changing of the seasons.
The four quarter days are:
- Lady day or the Feast of the Annunciation 25th March;
- Midsummer’s day around 25th June;
- Michaelmas 29th September;
- Christmas 25th December – lest we forget – fat chance.
They all approximately coincide with either an equinox or a solstice. Continue reading Michaelmas – Bees and Wintering
An annual quandry for beekeepers is – what to do with all those queenless Apideas at the end of the queen-rearing season.
Most advice is to set the Apidea over a nuc and unite the two but this often comes to one sort of sticky end or another and is less viable when you have a number of them.
Here’s a neat alternative: Continue reading What to do with queenless Apideas
The most common scenarios when you might want to unite two colonies of bees include:
- When one of them is queenless;
- When one of them has a vile queen and you are about to make them queenless;
- When one or both colonies are too weak in the approach to winter.
Most bee books will tell you to unite the two using the ‘newspaper method’ Continue reading How to unite bees – the Newspaper Method
Ling heather (Calluna vulgaris) honey is out there on its own for flavour and character. It is rich, reddish amber in colour with a musky flavour; open the jar and the scent of the hills will fill the room. Turn the jar upside down and it won’t budge – this is because it is thixotropic – in other words it forms a viscous gel and will not flow which means it cannot be spun out of the frames like other honeys but has to be pressed from the comb or sold in the comb either as sections or cut-comb.
Heather honey is much sought-after (lovely heather honey recipe here) and commands a great price but to get a crop is not easy so the beekeeper needs to know about the Known Unknowns and Known Knowns. Not to mention the Unknown Unknowns. Continue reading How to take a crop of heather honey