What a season

Hello!  I am sorry its been so long since I wrote anything but we have been so so busy.   My latest phrase is “I work all the hours god gave me” and Robs’ favourite phrase is “I am flying without wings” or “I am like a windmill!”

My last blog was back in April, which seems like months ago; it was months ago… The season kicked off well and just hasn’t stopped.  Today is the first day that I have actually been able to stop and think about what else needs doing, hence me having a moment to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.  Its quite unnerving actually as the phone is normally ringing none stop but today its been quite quiet, I have even managed to drink a hot cup of tea!!

So, what have we all been up to I hear you ask.  Well, Sian, Rob and Gabe have been busy nurturing customer nucs, we have packed and sent out over 300 families of bees this years which is a massive number for a small business like us.  I am so proud of the team and the feedback from our customers is great – makes it all worthwhile.

I have been just as busy as them but I have been busy in the office dealing with all our queen orders and stock orders.  I have pack and sent out 2000+ mated queens so far this season, Buckfast seem to be the most popular followed closely by Carniolan (my favourite bee)

I want to say that the guys have finished all the hard graft now. In the last couple of weeks they have made up over 400 splits in preparation for overwintered nucs, which has seen Sian starting work at 6am some mornings due to the heat.  But, they do still have plenty to do with bees.  There are many many supers to come off in the next few weeks and they all need extracting.  We also have bees to prepare to take to the New Forest for the heather. This year we are taking just 25 families of bees but still that is a quite a lot to prepare.  I have my fingers crossed for a better harvest than last year.

We were really lucky this year, a fellow bee farmer gave up a site not far from us that grows Borage and he very kindly offered it to us.   For years Rob has been looking for a site on a farm that grows Borage so he is now one very happy beekeeper!  I even managed to sneak out of the office last week and I went down with Rob to check how the bees were doing. I was pleasantly surprised and we had to put more supers on some of them.  Most of this honey will be kept on the comb but some we will extract.

It really does feel like the pressure is off now.  Many of our fellow bee farmers don’t do nuc production for that reason, its very demanding and really hard work.  So it really does feel like we have more time now.  We can relax just a little and enjoy the rest of the season working with the bees under less pressure. I certainly plan on getting out of the office more and donning a bee-suit.  I am off to Southampton on Thursday to check the bees out on the Raspberries on our pollination contact.

I hope the season is so far going well for you all.

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