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Archive for the ‘bees’ Category

Rainbow Beeswax candles complete for our NHS staff and essential workers keeping Britain going through COVID-19. 

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

after a week of melting and pouring different coloured layers for the rainbow, here they are

Rainbow Beeswax Candles

Rainbow Beeswax Candles for our NHS staff and essential workers keeping Britain going through COVID-19. 

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Making rainbow beeswax candles Part 1

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

So I have a surplus of

  1. beeswax.
  2. glass jars.
  3. coloured crayons.
  4. candle wicks
  5. wick pins

and a professional wax melter to make beeswax canldes

so inspired by Kirstie Allsopp’s son on Keep Crafting and Carry – Episode 3 

Let’s make Rainbow Candles! Yippee!!!

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I love buddleia!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

It’s out there now, my secret is out, I love the buddleia bushes, or more commonly known as the butterfly bush, even the common pink version which grows wild, maybe it’s the plant which attracts hundreds of insects and butterflies, and takes me back to my youth and “My Creature Club!” – hey if your reading Skeggy! Hello!

more recently there are some attractive colour variants, under the name of buddleia davidii, which are a dark blue or dark purple, and a deeper purple called “Dark Knight”, if you do not like the pink version, and also a white, you cannot mistake them, they are everywhere in the country, and seem to do very well, on old factory works, old building works etc

 

Buddleja davidii

Buddleja davidii, not in flower yet!

But my favourite buddleia globosa, which is a buddleia bush, with small orange balls! It’s not until you get up close that you can see the florets are the same as a traditional buddleia bush but organised into orange balls!

Buddleja globosa

Buddleja globosa

Buddleja globosa

Buddleja globosa

Buddleja globosa

Buddleja globosa

I have a few in my garden, a B.davidii and also I’m lucky to have two B. globosa, I’ve always planted buddleia in my gardens, but never seen the B. globosa for sale in garden centres, I took 10 cuttings from a plant when I lived in Warren Farm, which was the first time I had ever seen the plant, and it’s taken many many years for the plants to establish and now start to flower.

Bumble bee on Buddleja globosa

Bumble bee on Buddleja globosa

and the bumblebees love them as well!

If you do plant a Buddleja make sure you prune it because they can go wild!

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My Bumble Bees in July 2019

Thursday, July 25th, 2019
Bumble Bees

The Bumble Bees are enjoying the warm weather, it stated it was 33/34 degrees C in my car this morning! This is the third year I’ve had bumble bees, they arrived on the 4th July, and are doing much better, ordering them later than earlier in the year, with the Summer forage now available.

External Temperature

External Temperature 33 Degrees C!

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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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