After a long and cold winter that saw two excessive snow falls, we have been enjoying a run of current warm sunny weather with the warmest May on record. Great for UK holiday makers, families and our pollinators. With more people and insects outside we have an increased issue of mis-identification. I am often contacted about bees asking for my help only to find they are bumble bees or solitary bees which I can't move at all and I've also been contacted with perceived sighting
How did I get into beekeeping and making skincare? I'm asked this question so often and I love explaining how Beeutiful came about so thought I'd share it here so those that have never asked me personally also now know! To be perfectly honest, I just had a crazy idea and I ran with it! I read an article in a Sunday supplement back in 2011 about a couple keeping bees on their rooftop in London. That sowed a seed of interest, sparked an idea and the rest as they say is history.
It’s that time of year again! Second half of April through to end of July is typical swarming season here in the UK, weather dependent of course! A bright warm sunny day will see a swarm make its spectacular exit from it’s hive and settle on a tree, bush, conservatory roof or car bonnet. Swarming is a natural reproductive process that ensures the colony’s continued survival. However with the permanent presence of disease threatening our bees, swarms no longer survive if left
Finally I’ve extracted the honey from the hives. A good six weeks later than last year but finally it is done. Despite having an extra hive this year and hives that did not swarm thanks to my swarm management strategies I’ve extracted less than last year too :( So why so much later this year? And why so much less? The largest influence on honey production is most definitely the weather. This is most unfortunate considering the Jekyll & Hyde personality of the English weather,
Saturday 25th April turned out to be a day with lots of different aspects of Beeutiful being actioned so I thought I’d tell you all a little more about it!
The day started with a trip to a wine bar, yes really a wine bar at 8.30am! Drew the manager at Cellar Magneval in Fleet is working very hard to utilise the premises at times other than your usual social lunch and evening. He has started hosting a ladies breakfast on the last Saturday of every month, inviting speakers to
January! Not a lot happens in the apiary in January, a quick visit early on in the month to administer a varroa treatment, also a heft (lifting one side) of each hive to check they have plenty of stores and that’s it. However in other parts of the world the beekeeping season is in full swing! Bees Abroad (beesabroad.org.uk) is a small charity seeking to reduce poverty in the developing world through beekeeping. Volunteers provide education and technical advice in beekeeping a
The sky is blue, the sun is shining and t-shirt sleeves are now the norm. Hooray spring/summer has arrived at last. My colonies have survived the winter and the first few weeks of spring, an anxious time where I wait and hope they are all ok before I get a chance to make my first full inspection of each hive. However spring into summer comes with a whole host of other issues. One that the general public find particularly bothersome is swarms and not just honey bees but nests
So last weekend was the first of the year, really nice, t-shirt sleeves type weather that means you can actually open up a hive and have a real look. Colony 2, my smallest colony which was a late August 2013 swarm have worried me all winter. Due to being a late swarm their numbers were quite small relative to colony 1 which are much larger in size and therefore seemingly more robust. They also entered the hive with not much in the way of stores and so I supplemented them with
Bees Some people love them some people hate them, others are totally indifferent to them and most people do not know very much about them at all. I have been in the latter category for most of my 36 years, however not any more! If someone had told me a few years ago I’d be keeping bees and loving it I would have laughed…….very loudly! It all started with an article in a Sunday supplement. A couple explained how they were keeping bees on the roof top of their London flat, how
Bees & your skin – a positive relationship Can bees really have a positive effect on our skin, don’t they just sting? Yes bees do sting but only if provoked, they are far more interested in the plants and flowers in the vicinity than they are you and secondly the beeswax and honey that they have been producing forever can indeed help our skin. Beeswax has been used in toiletries and cosmetics since Eygptian times and can be used in hair products, lipsticks, face creams, found