I’ve been straight back to work, all the hives have been checked and although they are a couple of weeks behind where they were at at this time last year they have wintered well. My next job is to move 20 hives out to a site of Oil Seed Rape which seems to be extremely early this year. As the hives are slightly behind and the Oil Seed Rape is ahead I’m not expecting a bumper crop of honey but it will provide great stimulation for the bees which will mean strong hives for the summer honey flows.
Well I’ve been back at home for about two weeks now, although with everything that’s been going on that feels more like 2 months! I have been especially busy making local deliveries of honey to lots of new customers around Kingsbury, Wood End and Tamworth. The weather has been quite changeable too going from quite warm low teens back down to 5 or 6 degrees, I am however looking forward to this coming week as temperatures are set to increase again.
Last week I also took delivery of 100 deep Langstroth boxes to extract from a bee farmer who hadn’t got around to doing it. After a few days warming them up to make extracting easier I have managed to get about half done. Hopefully I will have finished the extracting by Wednesday which will leave me a few days to get the wax rendered down and everything ready to be collected. It’s been a big job but it’s been a good test of my extractor and my new heated uncapping tank (An uncapping tank allows me to warm the wax cut off to expose the honey before extracting, the wax and honey is separated which means less honey is lost during processing)
Next week in the warmer weather I plan to go through and combine a few of the smaller hives, doing this means they can produce more brood together than they could on their own. Once they have built up well they will be split back into their own hives hopefully in just over a months time. The queens from the hives I am combining will be ‘banked’ that means to put them in a cage and keep several in one hive. It will mean that when the time comes to make the splits again I can reintroduce the queens and they will carry on with very little interruption.
Regarding beekeeping experiences, I have had several emails about if vouchers will be valid for longer if courses are postponed due to Covid-19. As we run courses to September I am hoping that we will be able to run some courses even if we miss the first month or two of courses. Of course this will mean the amount of available spaces during the season is reduced and so we will extend the vouchers expiry date by 12 months to ensure everyone gets a chance to redeem their voucher!
Honey Deliveries, we will be continuing to make honey deliveries to local areas. As the website may not calculate postage correctly please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your order for local delivery, If you are not in the Tamworth area please go ahead and make your order as per usual via our website. In order to minimise the journeys we are making you may have to wait a couple of days as we will look to combine several deliveries into one trip.
Thank you for reading our blog, next month I hope to be able to share with you lots of bright images of the Oil Seed Rape in flower and our bees busy at work. Until then stay safe.
Holt Hall Apiary