Thuya Logs

Thuya Logs

We purchased 9 tons of Thuya logs from the Ford and Etal Estates, trees that were brought down by Storm Arwen in 2021.  They have been cut into planks suitable for making beehives by the Barbers at Brackenside Farm.  We would expect to get about 4.5 tons of usable timber as a result of this…

New Hive Boxes

New Hive Bodies

Recently we have been building new hive bodies (brood chambers) out of Western Red Cedar.  A brood chamber is usually the bottom box of a hive and houses worker-made cells where eggs, larvae and pupae develop.  Some cells in this part of the hive also hold pollen, nectar or honey which is used to feed…

Wild White Clover

Wild White Clover

I came across this photo of 24 wild white clover sections and thought about it.  There were beekeepers (3 brothers) who lived locally at Crookham who constantly selected their queens for excellence and this included the bees ability to make a perfect job of sealing their sections.  It was never easy to persuade bees to…

A swarm at a wedding

A swarm at a wedding

We went to a wedding knowing that a swarm of bees was hanging high up on the 11th century church.  I left the empty hive on a dustbin and, when we came out, they had taken up residence. The swarm would be hanging on the church because the ‘scouts’ would have identified a place to…

Black Bees

I am surprised to learn that a small sample of our black bees have shown themselves to be 90-94% Apis mellifera mellifera as a result of genetic analysis undertaken by Dr Mark Barnett of Beebytes Analytics CIC. During the 1950’s very many Italian queens were imported into this country and so it was very normal…

Animals found in beehives

There are many animals found in beehives.  The pygmy shrew often spends the winter in the inner cover of a beehive where he eats dead bees and leaves a pile of black excrement in a convenient corner.  When we find the pygmy shrews they are often dead, probably from ingesting too much venom.  They do…

Honeycomb

Honeycomb

Honeycomb is made of beeswax.  Beeswax is made by young bees from the nectar of flowers.  Generally they make it during hot weather in the Summer when there is a ‘honeyflow’ and nectar is being secreted by flowers.  The wax is kneaded into honeycomb which is then used to store the honey which is being…

Trees and the Honey Bee

Trees and the Honey Bee

TREES – By Willie Robson of Chain Bridge Honey Farm   I was thinking the other day about the sycamore tree and the other trees that will soon be flowering.  There are already tassels laden with pollen on some of the willows and the alder will also provide plenty of pollen.  Much more prominent in…