Well after what feels like 5 minutes since I was last writing a blog post here I am again, the 1st December, two months in and time is showing no sign of slowing down, I’m expecting the next few months to go just as quick and I must admit to looking forward to the start of the UK beekeeping season!
It’s been incredibly hot over the past month which I know many of you in the UK would love at the moment however wearing a full bee suit it certainly isn’t ideal and some days I find myself missing British weather (Although maybe not the rain)
One of the things that has come from the unprecedented heat early in the season here is bush fires, I’m sure many of you will have seen the bush fires on the news. Luckily we haven’t lost any hives and have lost very few sites, so compared to a lot of beekeepers in our area we have gotten off very lightly. We did have a few close calls which required us moving around 50 tons of honey to another location and moving over 400 hives in one evening! A few very busy days but all seems to be calming down now and under control.
Due to the lack of water there has been a lack of forage for bees and so we have been travelling a lot more over the past month, we currently have sites up to about 3 hours away with most at least 2 hours away. On one of our busier weeks we travelled over 1,200 miles checking hives and harvesting honey! In a usual day extracting honey we will be able to extract around 3 tons, some days as much as 5 tons!
Over the next few weeks we are starting to rear queens for our own use through the season, some will also be sold. We expect to need around 2000 queens and the first 200 cells have now been grafted. Hopefully next time I will be able to share many more pictures about queen rearing here.
Back At Home
Things have been busy back at home, a big thank you to my Mum who many of you will have seen braving the weather at our usual markets and a few extra ones for Christmas. Remember we will be at Buzzards Valley Artisan Market on the 8th December and Market Bosworth Farmers Market on the 22nd December. Please come along and support not only us but also the other fantastic traders at both markets, a great place to find special gifts and food for Christmas!
I’m very excited to announce that we are trialing a subscription service for our honey as so many of our customers are reordering regularly. You simply select the type of honey that you would like and how often you’d like to receive it and its that simple, you’ll be automatically billed and your honey will arrive by whatever postage option you select! Find out more – HERE
On to our bees, they are all doing well and winter feeding is finished, there is a small amount of insulation over some of our weaker wooden hives to give them a bit more warmth although the weather is looking quite mild over the next few weeks.
Thank you for reading!
Holt Hall Apiary