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Archive for the ‘bees’ Category

Received my delivery of Bumble Bees from @Dragonfli and a Bonus Swarm of Honey Bees arrived the very same day!

Friday, May 26th, 2017

on Wednesday 24th May , I received my delivery of Bumble Bees from Dragonfli, my neighbours reported a swarm of honey bees landed in their back garden, and then later flew over the wall, and settled on my blue recycle bin!

So whilst I hived my bumble bees, and waited 30 minutes to release them, I quickly got my Beek gear together to quickly put the swarm in a swarm box!

Delivery box of bumble bees

Delivery box of bumble bees

box of bumble bees opened

box of bumble bees opened

box of bumble bees opened paperwork removed

box of bumble bees opened paperwork removed

bumble bees hived

bumble bees hived

The honey bee swarm was captured by me, and hived - they are currently doing well, but I’ve left them to do their thing, before I inspect.

swarm of honey bees on recycle bin

swarm of honey bees on recycle bin

Traditionally according to the rhyme a load of hay, but it looks like a prime swarm, by the number of bees, which could have a laying queen, and also later by the weight in the box, I’ll let you know, how they turn out?

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A swarm in May is worth a load of hay, A swarm in June is worth a ….

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Last week of May and first week of June - “Swarming Season”

The beekeeping rhyme goes…

A swarm in May is worth a load of hay,

A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon,

A swarm in July ain’t worth a fly.

This weekend is reported to be the hottest weekend of the year, and if memory serves me correct, it’s at this time of year when the swarms arrive.

So I’ve put out five bait hives, these are just used bee hives, with old comb, which to bees stinks of bees and is heaven, in hope to catch a swarm of bees.

Some interest being shown already, shot on an iPhone 7 in slow motion!

fingers crossed.

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Bumblebee delivery next week

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

I’ve just received an email from DragonFli, my Bumblebees will be delivered next week, I hope the rain stops…

bumblebee-delivery

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Andy’s Bumblebee Hive - Beepol Villa

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Bumble Bee Hive - Beepol Villa

Bumble Bee Hive - Beepol Villa

This is my Bumblebee Hive - Beepol Villa, Lindsey purchased this for my birthday last year. It’s low maintenance and requires less management (or no management) compared to Honey Bees, it does not provide any honey, but the Bumble bees are excellent pollinators.

The hive is currently empty, and I’m waiting for the delivery of the bumble bees in May! The bumble bees are - Bombus terrestris audax, or the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee.

This could be my closet to keeping bees this year until my health improves. At present I find it difficult carrying bee hives around, so my strength needs to improve. (that’s unless a swarm of honey bees arrive, and then they need managing!)

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A Beekeepers Gold!

Monday, August 10th, 2015

and it’s not honey….it takes 7kg of honey to produce 1kg of bees wax! Bees wax burns clean with no soot, so that’s why it was favored in Churches and Monasteries, because it does not stain the ceilings! and many say that’s why Monks kept bees! Wax candles are usually made from paraffin!

You can see Sheldon’s support of beeswax candles here:-

As the season, winds down, I’ve started to tidy up and render this years bees wax down for wax exchange. This is from bees wax, I’ve been collecting all year, after inspections, e.g. removed from hives, queen excluders, and other bits of brace comb. Later in the year, I’ll take this wax and exchange it for foundation at Thorne. Foundation is the starter strips we use for bees to use as a template to draw out their comb. Thorne just add this and blend this with their other sources to create the foundation, so no waste, and completely recycled!

Here are some fantastic pictures of the process at Thorne, when I was lucky enough to visit, and have a tour around the factory by Gill Smith (Director and Owner of Thorne), in their Centenary year (2013).

Don’t forget Thorne Rand Open and Sale Day - Saturday 17th October, 10am.

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Andy’s Honey Stall

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Last Saturday, I did my first honey stall, at a Local Produce Market at the local village hall, to support the local community. Lets just say it was a great success, and I will be ordering my new honey extractor in due course, with the proceeds! I also sold eggs, and plants from the Allotments.

Honey Stall at Yapham Village Hall

Honey Stall at Yapham Village Hall

Honey Stall at Yapham Village Hall

Honey Stall at Yapham Village Hall

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Andy’s Spring 2015 Honey Harvest

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Despite the slow start to spring, and the cold high winds we have experienced this spring, and lack of bees flying, I was surprised by the number of honey boxes or ‘honey supers’, I collected at the weekend for extraction. I’ve still go to go back to remove 4 honey supers, that the bees are not wanting to give up easily!!!

here’s a 1 minute video, of the extracted filtered honey, flowing into rectangular honey buckets to settle, before processing (creaming!) or jarring. None of the pollen is removed from my honey, only the wax bits, and bee parts. The water content of the honey in the comb and extracted was 16.5%, tested with my calibrated refractometer.

Selling Honey in the UK, is subject to the The Honey (England) Regulations 2003, an easier version is here  The British Beekeepers Association Selling Honey Complying with the Law. Yes there is a Honey Law, and monitored by the Honey Police!

and it states “The water content of the honey must be not more than 20%.The higher the water content the more likely the honey is to ferment.”

So that’s what work goes into a jar of local honey from a British Beekeeper, spare a thought for that  the next time, you pick-up a jar of “honey-syrup” from a supermarket! If you have never tasted honey from a local British Beekeeper, I’m afraid you have never tasted real honey.

The analogy I like to use is the difference, between a 21 years old single Scottish malt whiskey and a blended whiskey! The malt whiskey is the local honey, and the blended whiskey is the honey syrup from the supermarket, in this comparison.

So support British Beekeepers, and purchase a jar from your local Beek today!

6 'honey-supers' on my bee barrow!

6 'honey-supers' on my bee barrow!

Andy's Hives

Andy's Hives

Andy's Hives

Andy's Hives

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World Exclusive Meltonby Honey Sold Here!

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Now that I have my new Catering Certificate, see this blog post, I’m scaling up the Honey Selling activities…first I purchased a ‘A Pavement board”, to replace my smaller Local Honey sign, and Lindsey kindly did the artwork. The artwork is Copyright (c) Andysworld! (well Lindseyworld!) 2015. So be warned anyone that downloads it, and uses it!

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Online Ordering coming soon….to a website near you!

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Andy is Certified! - Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Safe Food Handling

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

I spent three hours this weekend, obtaining a new Certificate.

I now have a Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Safe Food Handling.

This is my certificate

 Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Safe Food Handling

Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Safe Food Handling

This maybe a requirement in the future, for the preparation and selling jars of honey, but also now beneficial to have if you deal with food preparation and supply, as a food handler for human consumption.

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Bee Hives in the Snow Feb 2015

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Snow in the "Shire"!

Snow in the "Shire"!

Second time this year, that it’s snowed. so went down to the apiary, to check on the bees, and took some photos in the glorious sunshine.

beehives-in-feb-2015-1

Andy's Apiary

The colonies were treated by vaporising with oxalic acid crystals, one week ago, to reduce the levels of phoretic varroa destructor mites, which at this time of year are actually living on the honey bees (Apis mellifera), because my colonies are broodless at present.

The varroa destructor mite was introduced into the UK, in 1992, honey bees (Apis mellifera) have no natural defence to it, and we need to check regularly, as part of our integrated pest management, to ensure the levels are kept low, it cannot be completely eradicated (yet!), over populations of varroa destructor, can lead to colony collapse, it’s also a vector for disease and viruses in  honey bees (Apis mellifera). Varroa destructor reproduce by female mite enters the brood cell, with bee larva, just before the cell is capped, and lays her eggs on the bee larva, when the cell is uncapped, out come the young mites. So, no brood, no larva, all the mites on on the bees, so an easy target to treat, hence why we treat in broodless periods, between November - February.

How do we know, they have mites, we use a sticky inspection board, inserted into the bottom of the hive, the mites drop off the bees, and stick on the board, and then we count them! (yes they can easily be seen with the naked eye!).

sticky inspection board to count varroa destructor mites

sticky inspection board to count varroa destructor mites, brownish spot = mite !

a close up of some varroa destructor mites

a close up of some varroa destructor mites

close up varroa destructor mites, you can see their legs or mouth parts

close up varroa destructor mites, you can see their legs or mouth parts

and I added 2.5kg of ambrosia fondant to each hive. (An insurance policy, to prevent them starving - to help feed them during the winter period), and they are securely lashed down, using hive straps.

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