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Flying Into June

Well I can’t quite believe how quickly May has gone, but strangely looking back to the first week of May seems such a long time ago!

May is traditionally a very busy month in beekeeping and this year has been no exception. With honey harvesting and processing, swarms left, right and centre, queen bee production and of course the start of our beekeeping experiences all going ahead at full steam!

Queen rearing is one of the most interesting tasks of the year, a real challenge to even experienced beekeepers. Producing queens from our best stock allows us to produce great quality colonies that can produce plenty of honey. These queen cells (above, or left) were soon going to be ready to hatch into mini hives called mating nucs that are designed to allow the queen to go on ‘mating flights’ and become a laying queen before she goes into a full hive. These mating nucs really are tiny only around 300 workers compared to full colonies with up to 60,000! Just a couple of weeks ago I enjoyed being invited to talk to Sutton Beekeepers about increasing your hive numbers and of course we chatted about producing queens as well! 

 

If you haven’t already noticed on our social media or even at one of our markets we’ve had our R&D hats on over the past couple of month and have finally released our AMAZING blackcurrant honey, its super smooth soft set honey with tangy blackcurrant. It’s really fruity but as we always we want the honey to be key and so you get the delicious honey aftertaste. I taste an awful lot of honey, be it ours or other company’s that we work with and this has become a new favourite of mine!

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To anyone that has been on one of our experiences this year these three hives will look familiar! We have been busy with our first month of beekeeping experiences. If you have a voucher and haven’t booked yet then please do get yourself booked in ASAP and come and meet our bees! 

A different note and one that the beekeepers reading this will I’m sure have experience of is Swarming. Swarms are the bane of beekeepers lives between April and August. The bees become congested if we don’t give them more room and eventually they decide to split the hive in two with around 1/3 of the workers and the queen leaving the hive. They leave behind queen cells and one of those hatched queens takes over the colony several weeks later. Some years are worse than others and by all accounts we aren’t the only ones seeing lots of swarms happening or at least trying to! Just part and parcel of beekeeping but it keeps us on our toes! 

I want to spend more time talking about honey harvesting which we have just finished (on the day of publish…hopefully) so in our next blog I’ll walk you through that process so you can see exactly how it’s made. It’s been a strange crop with the weather having been so up and down so that has led to some more tricky extracting but if you can’t wait a month to see how it’s made if you have TIKTOK you can find a video walk through on there! 

Thank you all as always to reading our blog it really does mean a lot to me! Come along and see us at some of our markets this month:

Open Air Country Fair – 4th & 5th June 10am – 3:30pm Planters Garden Centre, B78 2EY
Market Bosworth Farmers Market – 26th June 9am – 1:30pm Market Bosworth

Matthew Ingram
Holt Hall Apiary 

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