March seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye! It feels no sooner than one blog is finished it’s time to start writing the next. This month has been a month of final preperation and the start of the season especially with the warm weather in the last few days of the month.
The queens are starting to lay more and more now, the hives are increasing ready to make the most of the nectar when it becomes available, take at look at the queen in the first photo on the right!
Bees On The Move
The big job over the past two weeks has been moving hives out to their spring apiary, some hives will stay at that site all year but most will move after the Oil Seed Rape has finished flowering in May. To move hives we start the day before by strapping them up. We run a strap around each hive so that they can’t slide when we lift them on and off the trailer, the straps are pulled as tight as we can get them and then checked again when we start moving them.
The next morning we start at about 6am closing entrances, some use foam to stuff in the entrance ways, I personally like to use masking tape. The best thing about masking tape is if you were to forget to remove it the bees can chew through it and after a small bit of rain it will come off by itself.
As soon as the hives are closed we start loading the trailer, we can fit 15 on one layer but we sometimes add a second layer. We carry the pallets we use as hive stands on the back of the pickup so that we can save a trip taking the pallets out the day before. As soon as we get to the new site we put the pallets out and start moving the hives onto their new spot. We remove the straps and once everything else is ready we open up the hives and let them out.
This Month’s Recip- bee
Apple & Cinnamon Honey Crumble (Adapted from BBC Good Food)
- 450g Bramley Apples
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon Honey
- 1 tbsp Water
- 100g Plain Flour
- 75g Butter
- 50g Rolled Oats
- 100g Brown Sugar
- For an extra warmth of Cinnamon, add a pinch to the topping.
For a simple dessert you cannot beat a humble crumble, and a match made in heaven is Apple & Cinnamon. This recipe offsets the tartness of the apples with honey paired with warming cinnamon, the perfect combination being Holt Hall Apiary’s Cinnamon Honey.
This recipe would work perfectly with Ginger Infused Honey with pears instead of apple if you wanted a seasonal substitute! As always, please share pictures of your delicious creations and let us know how you get on!
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Wipe the apples and cut them into quarters, then remove the cores and slice each piece in two. Put them into a pan, and add the Cinnamon Honey. Add a tablespoon of water or apple juice and cook over a medium heat for about five minutes, until the apples start to soften.
- Transfer the apple mixture to a shallow ovenproof pie dish.
- Blend the flour and butter in a food processor for a few seconds, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the oats and the brown sugar (and cinnamon if desired) and sprinkle over the cooked apples in the pie dish. Transfer to the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden-brown on top.
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Holt Hall Apiary