National Honey Day

BBKA National Honey Day logo

The British Beekeepers' Association are celebrating the first National Honey Day on Friday 21 October 2022 to encourage everyone to buy a jar of local honey, produced by bees here in the UK. Not only do they want to ensure people are aware of all the benefits honey provides but also to celebrate the pleasure of eating honey. What better way than to buy a jar of honey from your local beekeepers.

Heavy pollen baskets

Honey bee gathering pollen from winter honeysuckle

With the days drawing out, there are signs that Spring is on its way. Already there are snowdrops in flower as well as purples and yellows of the crocus opening their petals to reveal nectar and pollen to passers by in the insect world.

Telltale signs of a colony's health during winter

Varroa drop after treatment

When we prepare our bees for the long winter months, many beekeepers treat them to reduce the level of varroa mites in the colony. These are parasitic mites that live and feed off the bees and if left unchecked, can cause the colony to dwindle and die as the bees have not built up sufficient resistance to rid themselves of this mite themselves.

2020 honey monitoring scheme... the results are in

Honey bee on bramble flower

The National Honey Monitoring Scheme states "Both honey bees and wild bees have suffered declines in recent years. These are thought to be linked to agricultural intensification, including pesticide use and loss of habitats/ floral resources, as well as the emergence of new diseases and climate change. Their sensitivity to the way we manage land in the UK has long been a cause for concern."

Unseasonal weather

Two beehives on a hive stand

What is happening with our weather? Here we are in May yet the temperature has hardly got into double figures down in this part of the country. The days may be sunny, but the wind chill factor is bitterly cold. This makes opening hives for inspections impossible. To do so would risk chilling the brood.

Smooth and creamy

Jar of creamed honey (soft set)

It's been a while since I last sat down and put fingers to the keyboard, but what better way to start than introduce my creamed honey (also known as set honey) that I now sell from the door!

My beekeeping journey started in May 2016 and I love soft set honey, especially when it's spread over hot toast. Or if I really want to spoil myself, then it's a fresh scone, clotted cream and a spoonful of honey. Absolutely delicious. I've since learnt that this is called Thunder and Lightening. Not sure why, but it beats a Devon or Cornish cream tea.

Jobs for the winter months

Honey for sale sign

As we head to this year's shortest day (21 December) my mind starts to turn to the jobs still waiting to be done before the bees start busying themselves in the spring. It may sound a fair way yet, but with the speed at which this year has gone by, I need to get a wriggle on. So where am I with beekeeping?