I started beekeeping way back when my youngest son was just 3 years old. The journey has taken me along a path that even in my wildest dreams I had never imagined. All I planned on was 1 or 2 colonies of honey bees to enjoy in my spare time. I am now a honey bee farmer in Hampshire, UK and we manage anywhere from 150 to 300 colonies during the year.
I mentioned my youngest son earlier, he does help with the bees sometimes but somehow he always manages to get stung so he prefers to help in other ways. One thing he is really good at is helping to jar honey. What he is even better at is eating honey and if given half a chance he can quite easily spoon his way through an entire jar!
In my blog I plan to talk all about my life with the honey bees and hopefully share a few laughs and experiences, good and bad as well as offering advice.
I can currently very excited as I and 30+ other bee farmers are all off to Denmark on a 4 day jam packed trip. We will be visiting queen breeders, factories that produce honey processing equipment and one of the big companies that make bee feed. I checked out the hotel, it looks lovely, sadly there is no gym but it does have a bar – not the sort that you work out at…. Bee farmers in ballet skirts, that would be an hilarious sight!!!
Before I dash off I just wanted to say please don’t open your hives yet. I know the temperatures were up yesterday, even I was in a t-shirt (with vest underneath!) and we did record temperatures of 14 degrees in the afternoon but it’s still only mid-march and it really is not warm enough to expose the brood. The temperature drops quite early in the afternoon and by opening your hives you will make your bees work really hard to restore the brood nest to a temperature of 34.5 degrees. Instead sit and watch the entrance, if you bees are bringing back pollen loads that is a really good sign the queen is OK and laying. You can heft the hive as well, it if feels light give them a block of fondant on the crown board.
I will be back to tell you all about the Denmark trip.