Friday, 31 October 2008

Eden Project recognises the importance of bees

This is Bombus the bee - a rather splendid and large sculpture to illustrate pollination and its importance to plants and therefore us. We met him on a half term trip to Cornwall.

They also had a pleasing range of bee-keeping books in the shop. We got a book on choosing the right bee friendly plants in a garden which will be of use not only in our own garden but also the apiary as well.


Thursday, 23 October 2008

Bees for Development

Just a quick note to say that my membership pack from Bees for Development has arrived! Complete with natty 'tamper-proof' honey jar labels! Remember folks, 10p from every label goes to a REALLY worthy cause.
Snaggly day out there today, so i'm tucked up with a good bee book, mugging up for my BBKA Basic Assessment next year. The bees are also all set for the winter, well fed & just the mouseguards to go on. However, we'll also have to think about anti-woodpecker measures, which is a new one on me! .....rascals!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The LAAGS bag their first 'victim'

Our friend Andrew stayed over with us at the weekend and as well as a walk at Westonbirt and sampling the delights of our village pub, he was keen to meet the bees on Sunday morning So we all met up with Steve to help show Andrew a glimpse of the fascinating world of the bees.

Andrew is in the white bee-suit. Steve is to the left of the photo and I'm lurking in the middle .

Inspite of Andrew receiving his first ever bee sting he went home determined to order bee-keeping books with a view to having his own hive at some point. That's what I meant about 'bagging a victim' - someone else has found them fascinating and worth further investigation. (and if you're wondering how he could possibly be stung dressed in all that, the answer is that he got handed some gloves about 10 seconds too late...)

We are keen to use our apiary to learn about bees ourselves, but also to encourage others to learn about them too . Often when we've been up there a plot holder has stopped what they were doing to watch and Sunday was no exception and a mum and daughter were shown a frame of bees at close quarters as they watched from the other side of the fence.

We call it the Bee P.R department !


Saturday, 11 October 2008

Top-Bar Hives

We have decided this coming season to experiment with a top-bar hive. This type of hive allows the bees to naturally build their own elliptical comb within the hive, rather than be constrained by our man-made frames. Our intention is to create a more balanced ratio of honey to wax, beautiful cut comb to eat, bees being allowed to live as they want, healthier drones, less disease and happier bees!!!

Watch this space...........

We have purchased our first hive via Thornes, from Bees for Development. Over the winter, we will build a stand and generally prepare it for use in the early spring. Our initial thought (always subject to change) is to have the top-bar at our allotment site, along with our newly refurbished WBC. This will allow us the unique opportunity to have three hive varieties in one spot for comparison. The idea would be that it would be a great training area for us, other local beekeepers and any interested villagers.
(P.S. The picture of a top-bar hive at the top of this post came from where you will find lots of inspiring hive designs)