WI visit 

So the first group of the WI visited on Saturday.  It was a lovely hour or so here are some photos… 

Some rape seed honey was sampled. No honey from the WI hive yet but we are hopeful.

We look forward to welcoming more visitors next Saturday.

Extracting honey ! 

So we have been busy extracting some of the honey from our bees on the rape seed. The honey needs to be taken off quite quickly as it crystallises but the water content needs to be low enough so it doesn’t ferment. Here’s some pictures

kitchen set up for extraction
Removing the wax capping to allow the honey to be extracted

putting the frames in the extractor

sieving to remove wax and other bits

letting the wax cappings drain any honey – not wanting to waste any

letting miles lick the spoon !

Bee update

Quite a lot has happened since our last post.  

The Wi hive made it safety through the winter.  We also decided to expand and bought two hives from Paul and Hilary who live in Church Lane.

Our two new hives have been up on rape seed fields since April.  They are doing well and at the weekend we took off one of the supers ready to extract the honey today.  

Whilst the rape seed is great to produce a lot of honey it does make the bees a bit cross and Paul has been stung and chased by guard bees quite a few times.  Hilarious for me to watch not so much fun for Paul.  We have lost a queen from the rape seed field, but Paul saw the Virgin queen hatch to replace her. 

Below are some pictures of the rape seed fields and Adrian helping us with bees in transit. 
The WI bees remain at home.  Paul refers to them as my pets.  I get so much pleasure from watching them.  

We marked the queen about a month ago and shortly after she disappeared.  We cannot be sure why.  We couldn’t find her and Paul followed the rules on the hive check – you need to see all stages of brood.  When we couldn’t see eggs we knew she was missing.  We removed all but two of the queen cells and called in reinforcements (Adrian) who confirmed we had a queenless hive.  

Rowans friend Lily-May looked for the queen with us. She is 11 and fearless! 


We then had to wait for the bees to make a new queen and her to mate.
The good news is last weekend we saw a new queen on the WI hive. No eggs yet but hopefully by the weekend we will see evidence she has mated. My son Miles showed some interest this week.

Still a while before the WI hive gives us some honey thou. 

Extracting honey ! – Saturday 11th July 

Adrian phoned today and invited us to help with his honey extraction.

Sadly both of us couldn’t go as Miles had a friend over to play but Paul jumped at the opportunity.

It was great to see the process, watching Adrian and Barbara and picking up lots of top tips.   

The bonus was coming home with a jar of Colden Cottage honey and a jar of Barbara marmalade – both of which are delicious .

By Sunday Paul’s hand was looking much more normal.  We inspected our own bees which are multiplying extreme well.  We saw the queen and didn’t get stung !! 

Hive inspection – 9th July 

Today Paul and I took a look at the hive.

All was well until Paul got stung several times. Checking the bees came to an abrupt end and shortly after Paul’s hand started swelling even thou he took some Puriton straight away. 


The next day it looked like this 

 
After a call to 111 Friday night the doctor called back and confirmed it would just be fluid causing the swelling and advised to keep taking Puriton and keep it elevated. 

Hive inspection today ! – 25th June 15

We inspected the hive today !

All is good but could not see the queen despite checking the frames twice!  She is obviously there as all happy! 

We have found another “wild hive” in one of the plain trees, which is probably why we have dead bees everywhere!  Poor workers! 

Our hive has definitely grown in numbers and started on a new frame.   (Bottom photo) 

           

Weekend hive inspection 

So last weekend we inspected the hive without the support of Adrian.

Here is a picture of a couple of the frames looking lovely and healthy.

  

Paul was brilliant very confident.

Can you spot a drone ? 

 Can you spot the queen although Paul’s finger gives a big clue 

 The bees were very noisy today and I was less confident that I had been before which was a little disappointing.  
I found myself a little scared and walked away a few times.  I do think it was the buzzing that freaked me out a little, they sounded abit cross and in the past had been very quiet.  I think because Paul has already been stung he was less nervous. 

Anyhow see how I get on next week ..,