I can’t quite believe how quickly the season has flown by. I seriously planned to write a bit every week but we have been so run off our feet it just didn’t happen.
The start of the season was very rocky with high winter losses for many beekeepers across the UK and Europe. But, once the sun came out it was just full steam ahead for everyone here. We had one of the best harvests for many years with the summer honey and along with a record number of nucs and mated queens going out it proved to be a very good year for us.
Our seasonal worker this year was a lovely young lady called Sian. She worked mostly with the bees but also covered the office as well. Sian fitted in with us all really well, it felt like we had all worked together for years. Rob nicknamed her Little Becky (not actually sure if Sian knew that was her nickname but she will now!), he said she was almost a double of me in her approach to working with the bees and with our customers- I think that is a compliment to both of us!
We all had lots of fun working with Sian, there was never a dull day and she was always smiling and happy. We miss her now that the season is over and we are all have our fingers & toes crossed that she will return again next year to work with us.
This photos shows her and Gabriel hitching a lift along with bees…
We picked our bees up from the New Forest last week and Rob and I took the last of the heather honey off today. The harvest was very poor compared to last year but what we have is lovely. I love the smell of heather honey and it’s just wonderful on hot toast.
It was really nice working with the bees today. I have to confess that although I do enjoy the office work and I love talking with our customers, I have missed working with the bees. It was such a lovely sunny day today as well. A proper autumnal day with the sun shining, leaves changing colours and the ground covered with conkers and acorns, this really is a wonderful time of the year. Roxy, my cocker spaniel, loves it too as she gets to chase squirrels that are busying themselves collecting their winter food!
We are now busy sorting out all the used brood boxes and supers, cleaning, fixing and painting as needed ready for storing for next year once they have new frames in. We had a pallet load of new frames delivered today, when you see them stacked like that it makes your heart sink as you know they all have to be assembled and even though we use a nail gun it really is a mountain of work!!
As well as all the equipment to sort out we also have to move our main warehouse as the unit we are in is due to be knocked down shortly! We have a new unit lined up but we have a lot of work to do before it’s ready for the big move. The floor was concreted yesterday so work is progressing but we have to build a new honey room and as the shape of the new unit is different we also need to install an upstairs. The only bonus to the move is that it is literally only about 15 yards!!
Finally before I break off I have some really good news. Sian has decided to come back to work for us again next year. And even more exciting is our plans for a new queen rearing station – watch this space!