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May – A slow start to the season

I always go back and read my previous blog when I sit down to write each month. What a change we have seen throughout May, we went from one of the driest Aprils on record to one of the wettest Mays. The weather has been cold and damp through all of May excluding the past few days.

A close up of larvae in the hive!

It seems looking back at photos of last year we are around 2 – 3 weeks behind in terms of what is flowering here in the midlands. It has caused us quite a big problem with producing queens as it has been so cold and showery for the queens to be able to go on mating flights. I am happy to say however if you have pre-ordered your queens we are now starting to work down the list and expect all pre-orders to be fulfilled within the next 2 weeks!

May would usually be a time beekeepers are making additional hives called nucs and adding honey supers to collect honey in. This month we have been faced with the real possibility of starving hives as there just hasn’t been the weather for the bees to forage. We have had to add sugar syrup to a number of hives to get them through but I’m now happy to say with the weather having turned in the last few days we are starting to see honey flowing in! Last year we had done our first harvest by now but we are expecting to be harvesting in mid June this year!

You may have noticed this month our Facebook and Instagram have become much more active, that is thanks to Mandi who joined us part way through the month to help us with our marketing efforts. She is also planning a honey of the month email telling you about one of our honeys in depth and offering our subscribers a discount on that honey too! So if you haven’t already please do subscribe to our newsletters using the form at the bottom of this post! We will also be giving you a mini update on our month that will be just for those getting our emails.


This Month’s Recip-bee

Honey and Lemon Biscuits (Makes 8 Biscuits)

This months recip-bee uses our most recent development, Lemon Infused Honey! These shortbread biscuits are super simple and can lend themselves to any honey if you prefer a plainer variety. This recipe is perfect with an Earl Grey cup of tea (my personal preference, other tea is of course acceptable!!) or you can decorate them with icing for additional sweetness and visual impact! 
Please share with us your creations!!
Emma xx

Ingredients:

  • 90g Unsalted Butter
  • 40g Golden Caster sugar
  • 85g Lemon Honey
  • 110g Plain White Flour
  • 60g Corn Flour
  • Pinch Salt

Method:

  • Mix all ingredients together either by hand or with a food processor until a soft ball of dough is formed
  • Wrap the ball of dough in cling film (or a wax wrap!) and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes
  • Roll the dough on a floured surface until they are about the thickness of a £1 coin
  • Cut the dough with whatever shape cutter you fancy and move them onto a lined baking tray
  • Place the biscuits into the oven preheated to 160oc for 10-12 minutes or until pail golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack
  • ENJOY!

As always thank you for reading our blog!

Please come along and see us at the Open Air Country Fair at Planters Garden Centre (B78 2EY) on the 5th and 6th June 10am to 3:30pm. We will have all our honey and insect houses, we might even have a demonstration hive too!

Matthew Ingram
Holt Hall Apiary

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