Queens, honey and strimming

messy apiary.jpg

On Sunday I checked my hives. Three of the previously queenless hives now have queens – I even saw one of them, but she scarpered before I could mark her. The little hive at the front which was the result of an initially unsuccessful ‘artificial swarm without finding the queen’ into which a few days later I added a frame of brood with a queen cell on from the original hive also has a queen. I am very happy about this.

The only hive with no laying queen at the moment is hive 4. Despite this hive having a brood and a half for extra space they still swarmed.

As you can see, the apiary is a mess. So I strimmed back all the nettles and grass and now it looks a bit better.

cleaned up apiary.jpg

I also noted that two of the hives had more capped honey in their supers so I decided to spin some off on Monday evening after work.

For some inexplicable reason I decided to try spinning it off in my bee shed rather than on the patio behind our house. For the record this was a really stupid thing to do.

spinning honey

The bee shed filled up with bees, the honey filled up with bees, quite a few bees drowned in the honey, the shed became very sticky with honey and I had to do the whole procedure in my beesuit with thick gloves on. I am not doing this again.

filtering honey.jpg

I did however extract another 17lbs of honey bringing my total for this year to 33lbs. Yay bees – thank you.


I have also decided to grow lots of lavender bushes in my polytunnel from seed or cuttings or something and then plant them all over the campsite for the bees. It will look and smell beautiful



9 responses to “Queens, honey and strimming

  1. Oh honey with added bee wings for that crunchy texture 😉
    Nice idea with the lavender, also heather would be nice??

    • The crunchy bits are the best bits 🙂 I had hoped to get some heather honey from all the heather over the back, but last year my bees completely ignored it …. maybe this year?

    • Oh, you should give it a go. I alternate between finding it stressful and loving it, but I am slowly getting a little more confident.

  2. I’d love to get some bees (when we move) but I’m worried we will be in the centre of the village so will need to suss out local feelings ….. (will obviously do courses first!!)

    • We keep our bees on our caravan site and it is fine. We have some fencing around the hives which encourages the bees to fly up. Lots of people keep bees in urban areas – they are not aggressive. I would go ahead with it. We did an evening course at a local agricultural college (it was pretty cheap compared to lots of day courses you see advertised). but I have learnt most through having hives and belonging to a local club and going and helping with their apiary. Good luck.

    • I can see their point – they did make it all. All I did was provide the infrastructure and poke around at them in a rather cackhanded manner. Apiary was also full of chicken wire that I had used to protect the hives from woodpeckers over winter – the grass had grown all through it. I should have tidied it up in the spring – would have been easier 🙂

  3. Pingback: Honey for Sale | smallholding dreams·

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