September 2020 .... Our hives and bees are all now being prepared for the winter. We will feed our bees to ensure they have enough food to see them through the winter. Although they do store honey and pollen in the brood box (the main area of a beehive), we need to ensure they can top this up if need be. All honey boxes have been removed, mouse guards will be put in place (mice are always looking for somewhere warm to spend the winter) and a check is done on everything to ensure the bees home is watertight and weatherproof over the coming cold months.
August 2020 …. We have removed our final crop of honey from the hives, including a small amount of cut-comb honey. Cut-comb honey is proving very popular and the bees didn’t produce enough this year to satisfy all our customer orders. Having said that, they worked extremely hard during the hot dry summer and after spinning out the honey, running it through a course filter to remove particles of beeswax and the odd bee leg or wing! (but not the pollen!!), we have a bumper crop of honey available for sale.
Please use the ‘Contact us’ page if you wish to purchase our delicious honey.
June 2020 …. The bees continued swarming preparations into June.
Most of the swarms exiting the hive Tom and I were lucky enough to observe (see our Swarms page for photo’s and video). An absolutely amazing sight of nature. The bees didn’t travel far and once settled we were able to recover them and place into a new hive. However, when bees swarm they leave behind a depleted number of bees in their original hive.
With a reduced workforce, the bee’s nectar collection and honeycomb building slows down. Once the new queen is mated she starts laying eggs (around 1,500 each day).
After three weeks, new bees start to emerge and the colony’s workforce increases, eventually up to about 50,000.
May 2020 …… An unusual month with hot dry spells. Early in the month the bees collected great quantities of nectar which they turned into delicious Spring Honey with enough surplus for us to extract. Later in May some of our colonies made preparations to swarm. Although we used various tactics to inhibit swarming, the bees had other ideas and were hell bent on swarming. See our page on SWARMS for more details and some interesting photo’s and videos.
27 April 2020 ….. The bees have worked hard and produced some early delicious Kingston Vale honey. See our ‘Honey’ page for more details.
18 April 2020 ….. Our bees have been taking advantage of the recent fine dry weather and it looks like we will get an earlier honey crop than originally expected. If the fine weather continues we should be able to have Kingston Vale Honey for sale by next weekend.
Watch this space for an update…….
18 March 2020 ….. We have now SOLD OUT of all our honey and honeycomb. The bees are working hard to make more for us. This is likely to be ready late May early June. We will update this page accordingly.
8 March 2020 ….. The bees have been making the most of the sunshine today bringing in plenty of pollen (protein) for the brood. They carry the pollen back to the hive on their rear legs (pollen baskets). See photo below….
This is the time of year the bees start to get out and about to forage on fine dry days. However, with the constant wind and rain we are a little concerned the bees are unable to get out to find enough food to sustain all the bees in the hive this time of year. Young bees will be starting to emerge (hungry) and the queen needs more food as she starts to lay more eggs.
We are worried the bees may not have enough food stored for all the above, especially as the weather forecast is not that great for the coming days. So, over the next few days we will start to feed our bees to ensure they don’t starve.
A good day for flying……..
It is too early in the year for us to open up the hives and look inside to check their food stores and see how they have coped through the winter. Maybe mid March if we get some dry, fine sunny days.
However, bees have started flying on dry sunny days (although there haven’t been many!). There are a few food sources out there now, including crocuses and snowdrops.
The bees will use these dry days for cleansing flights (going to the toilet,
they don’t use their hive as a toilet, they are very clean insects).