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April (No) Showers

Well April has come and gone in the blink of an eye. It’s been great to be working with the bees again after a winter spent in the shed getting things ready. It already feels much later in the season than it is, I have to keep reminding myself we are only just at the start now. We have had almost no rain this month apart from the last couple of days and it really shows when driving around farms with fields looking as dry as the middle of summer. It’s also been cold and that has kept the flowers and the expansion of the hives back, I think we are around 2 weeks behind last year so hopefully the damp warm weather will help the crops and flowers to yield well for the bees!

At the start of the month when it was too cold to be doing much with the bees I finished off our new classroom facility. I’m really excited that we now have a designated area for running our experiences and queen rearing courses. The facility is on our farm but don’t worry if you already have an experience booked it’s only 5 minutes from Planters Garden Centre and we will send you all the directions when we confirm your booking the week before you’re due to join us!

We write for a beekeeping magazine called BeeCraft and have decided to make a small feature with 10 of our articles framed on the wall! We have all of our suits hung up, a large table and even a projector for our longer courses. Not forgetting the essentials we are able to offer you hot drinks and have some of our honey for sale too!

Queen rearing has been a big focus over the past few weeks. I have been busy writing the queen rearing course that I am delivering to a small group of beekeepers in early June. It’s been really popular with only one place left. If you’re interested in joining us for what I hope will be a fun and informative day please do book soon – here.

As well as writing the queen rearing course I’ve started queen rearing for the 2021 season, I already have over 100 cells grafted (This is the start of the queen rearing process for me, you can find out more about that in our blog called – May 2020 Hot Hot Hot!) We have quite a few people on our waiting list for queens, we are expecting to have all pre-ordered queens sent out by the first week in June but that will depend on how kind the weather is to us.

This Month’s Recip-bee

BBQ Dips and Dressings!

We’re nearly into BBQ season, with the weather hopefully warming up! These 3 simple marinades will transform a bland chicken breast into fan favourites.

All three can be made ahead of time and used to marinade the chicken, the longer the better. Remember to add a little more while they’re cooking!

Just mix the indgredients together, what could be easier? You could even use them as a dipping sauce!

Sticky BBQ Dip
Adapted from

  • Runny Honey 100g
  • Soy Sauce 1 tbsp
  • Ketchup 1tbsp
  • Dijon Mustard 2tsp
  • Worcestershire Sauce 2tsp
  • Cider Vinegar 1tsp

Honey, Mustard & Soy Marinade
Adapted from

  • Soy Sauce 2 tbsp
  • Runny Honey 2 tbsp
  • Grainy Mustard 1 tbsp
  • A sprinkle of Seasme Seeds

Satay Sauce
Adapted from BBC Goodfood

  • 1/2 Lime Juiced
  • Runny Honey 2tsp
  • Soy Sauce 1 tbsp
  • Curry Powder 1 tbsp
  • Smooth Peanut Butter 3tbsp
  • Coconut Milk 165ml

As always thank you for reading our blog, if you ever have a question or topic regarding beekeeping you would like us to answer through our blog please do email us at

Matthew Ingram
Holt Hall Apiary

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