Christmas is nearly here! Now only another 3 weeks until Christmas and we are busy sending orders out and getting any pre ordered hampers ready to deliver. We have also decided to expand the blog slightly so sometimes we will have a piece on plants for bees and others a recipe for you to try using our honey! This month you get both!
We were lucky that even with the lockdown we were able to attend Market Bosworth Farmers Market which was really well attended and well supported which makes a massive difference to small businesses. Looking forward we are waiting to have some guidance on what Tier 3 means for our December markets, as soon as we know we will post it on our Facebook page.
We have spent the last month working on getting ready for next season. The hives are now all ready for winter and other than lifting them every few weeks to check they have enough food we now just have to leave them to it. It seems strange after looking after and checking them weekly for much of the season that we can now step back and be confident that we did all we could to help our bees get through winter.
This past week we received a load of wood which will go to make 120 brood boxes. A big job cutting it down and assembling the boxes but one that will mean we can expand significantly next season. We are hoping to get to around 150 hives next year which we think is easily do-able without impacting our honey crop too much!
Recip-bee of the month!
Our festive honey has also proved to be very popular, enough that we have just finished jarring a second batch so there is plenty to get us through until Christmas! If you are thinking about ways you can use our festive honey why not try Emma’s Recipe for a festive honey biscuit, adapted from BBC Good Food
To Make 20 cookies you need:
- 100g Soft Butter
- 100g Sugar
- 1 large tablespoon of Festive Spiced Honey
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 level teaspoon of Mixed Spice
- 180g Self Raising Flour
Fancy trying this great recip-bee? Add Festive honey
to your shopping basket – Here
- STEP 1 – Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon until creamy.
- STEP 2 – Next beat in the Festive Spiced honey and the egg yolk.
- STEP 3 – Add the mixed spice and flour, mix into soft dough.
- STEP 4 – Take a teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball.
- STEP 5 – Then do the same to the other cookies.
- STEP 6 – Space out on a greased baking tray, as they will spread.
- STEP 7 – Cook for 10 minutes at 175C.
- STEP 8 – Best enjoyed with a cup of tea!
Gardening For Bees!
For those of you looking to receive or give a Bee friendly gift this Christmas there’s nothing better than a winter flowering garden plant. On warm sunny winter days Bees will venture out of the hive and what better way of making that journey worth while than making pollen available to them.
Winter flowering plants not only help save bees but also brighten up our gardens not just with colourful flowers but scent too. Helebores or Christmas roses, especially the simple single ones provide great colour for the front of a border. You could create a feast for bees by interplanting with Crocus, snowdrops and Winter Aconites.
Although most Garden Centres will be sold out of bulbs by now, they normally get potted bulbs around Christmas time for instant colour. If you already successfully grow Rhododendrons and Camellias why not try underplanting with Winter Heathers for a carpet of colour. Putting flowers at the height bees fly at saves them energy ensuring they get back to the hive safely.
Try Mahonia Charity or some of its relations to produce a big display of bright yellow flowers and plant Sarcococca for a mass of little flowers whose perfume punches well above its flower size.
Lastly try clothing your walls and trellis with Winter flowering Clematis (Cirrhosa), Ivy that you can avoid cutting so it flowers and winter Honeysuckle.
Gerald Ingram, Planters Garden Centre
Thank you for reading our monthly blog, hopefully you’ve enjoyed our new articles and we would love to see photos of your baking or bee plants! Send them to us on facebook, Instagram or by email as we might just show them in next months post!
Holt Hall Apiary