Well, for creatures so small, they still love our attention even when they are huddled together in the hive throughout the coldest months. Usually, a honey bee colony is at its smallest this time of year, with enough bees to care for the queen, feeding and cleaning her, as well as nursing her brood and ensuring all is in order whilst waiting for spring. A couple of weeks ago I opened the hives to treat them for Varroa mites, nasty little creatures that can do a lot of harm, one colony was smaller, quiet and gentle as expected yet the other was large and very active as though it was June not January. After treating them, I gave them a big block of fondant icing each ensuring they had enough food to munch on whilst it’s too cold to fly out to forage. Knowing that the bees were happy, I joined our local bee keepers for a special training session led by the lovely Emily Scott who journals her bee keeping in her blog Adventures in Beeland. Emily has been studying honey bees at a much higher level than most other bee keepers and is working her way through many modules including Honeybee Products and Forage. After explaining how bees choose which flowers to explore on their nectar hunt and how plants communicate back to bees that they have already been pollinated, we were able to taste around 30 different honeys that had been produced around the world. Emily’s post about the honey tasting can be found here and I concur that Alan and Betty’s honey from Hayes was a favourite with its hint of citrus and number two for me was also the Kew Gardens honey, I’m sure that the constant variety of flora available at Kew Gardens contribute to the beautiful flavours.
I have since volunteered to join the bee keeping team at Kew Gardens allowing me new opportunities to learn and develop and maybe a chance to harvest some Kew Gardens honey for myself!
Coming up at the Corner
Next month we are chicken keeping with Families, Feathers and Fun February 28th.
All our courses are open for bookings, so whether you want to try something new or treat someone to a wonderful gift, have a look and book in early!
- Sara has been volunteering at The Shelter Project, providing dinner, bed and breakfast for local homeless people, such a valuable project during these cold months
- Some of our Chickens have started laying eggs again after the winter break – this is due to longer days not warmer weather!
- We are nearly there on our new kitchen designs, but the big question is which of the companies do we go with? Currently, it’s between Homebase/Schreiber, Wickes, Howdens and Benchmarx – One is clearly in the lead at the moment… Any recommendations?
Jobs for next week:
- Confirm our Easter break with Classic Glamping
- Scrub the Seville oranges for our Toast and Marmalade course
- Broaden and prepare our offer to Schools…
Join us on the Journey!