Bees

We started keeping bees at Hen Corner in August 2011, although our journey to Plan Bee began long before then. In October 2012, at the end of our first full season, we were awarded First Prize for Best Honey in London and now run Bee Keeping courses here at Hen Corner.

‘The interactive nature of what were doing made the course all the more memorable and fascinating.’ Natalie B, Heart (Four Counties) Breakfast Show Host.

Listen here for interview by Natalie B

Christmas 2008 My husband, Andy, bought me both a book on Beekeeping and a place on a course at River Cottage .

May 2009 I joined the team at River Cottage HQ and held a frame of honey bees for the very first time.

June 2010 Andy and I did the British Bee Keeper Association Basic Assessment Training Course.

August 2011  Our first colony of bees arrive here at Hen Corner.

September 2012 We collected our first full honey harvest.

October 2012 We were awarded First Prize at the National Honey ShowBest Honey in London! See our blog post here

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Our new season of Bee Keeping Courses can be found here.

Responses

  1. i like bees

    • They’re great, aren’t they!

  2. “Polar Vortex” has temps down to -14 in Massachusetts, US, plus a wind chill over last weekend. I Put a thermometer in through upper opening and registered 27 degrees outside the cluster ball. But I hear buzzing. Don’t know how we will fare.

    • Hi Jill,

      Have you insulated your hives? Padding between the crown board and roof?

      27 degrees outside the cluster of bees should mean that it’s significantly warmer at the centre around the queen and any brood…

      Bees are amazing creatures, so resilient and self sufficient!

      Let’s hope they fare well… (and you at those temperatures ;-))

      All the best, Sara

  3. Sara,

    Nice Web site and very interesting to see the variances between our countries. Here in Australia at the present (June) we have just started our winter, difference being it is still around the 20 degree mark in the day, a far cry from a UK winter no doubt. I pulled off about 40kg of honey from two hives only a few days ago, which surprised me somewhat. I note you feed your Bees going into winter, if I were to feed my Bees I would generally do this at the end of winter / start of spring to give them a head start. Like I said I love the site, check out Duncshoney.com.au

    • Hi Dunc,

      Thanks for this, yes we need to feed them going into winter after we’ve taken off the honey crop, which has been just a small harvest the last couple of years.

      I’m even feeding some of my bees now, in ‘summer’ as we’ve had a couple of cold wet weeks when they’ve stayed in the hive and munched on their stores…

      We’ve got 2 months left of nectar flow, so we’re still hopeful for some honey, but nothing at the moment ;(

      I’ve looked at your site, it’s great! What are the green panels on your suit? are they for ventilation? Bee keeping does get pretty hot when the weather is good….

      Sara

  4. Sara,

    Good stuff, yes panels are for ventilation. Super hot here in summer, particularly some of my customers in far north Queensland, 45 degrees plus. I’ve a couple of videos on the site which shows the suits / jackets in more detail. Beekeeping is starting to get ‘trendy’ here now which is good. I do beekeeping as a side, I mainly have hives in residential gardens to assist with pollination, one of my ‘host a hive’ ladies won an award recently in a well known flower show, very prestigious so I’m told. Anyway, keep it sticky.

    Regards
    Dunc

  5. Posted on facebook for a friend who is keen to keep bees and quite fancies blogging too . I suspect a friendship may be formed!

    • Thanks so much, it’s been a great year for bees so far… Looking forward to the honey :)


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