Tag Archive for "beehive" - Cae Non

Post Archives tagged ‘beehive’



Arrival of the Bees

Posted on: September 1st, 2013 by
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Arrival of the Bees 1This last couple of weeks has brought a real blessing to Cae Non – we finally have a bee colony in residence! It is amazing news and marks the fulfilment of a long standing desire of mine to have bees involved in our project. Yes that’s right, involved. I don’t cultivate bees, I look after them and the live here. I consider them like I would a person or an animal.

So, the back story. Back at the end of July, I was asked at work how ready I was to be able to take a swarm. As some of you know, I have all the equipment anyway, and bought a hive last year. So I said ‘Now’ to the offer, and a week later I housed the bees (which had been housed and looked after by a friend/work colleague) in my own brood box/hive.

Arrival of the Bees 3

Now, there is a saying on the viability of swarms of bees at different times of year… It goes something along the lines of :

A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly

…And my swarm was housed in July. Not that this means they are worthless to me, they are worth a great deal. But it does mean that I’m having to look after them very carefully and feed them 2 – 3 times a week on sugar syrup. Now this isn’t something I like doing as it isn’t the bees’ natural diet, but it will support them in establishing a viable colony.

We moved them down to Cae Non in the second week in August… and they have been there for just over two weeks now. I have fed them about 5 times and they are doing really well. There is still a lot of Balsam and Heather about and they seem to be off out in the surrounding area foraging. They had their first visit from the Bee Inspector last week and he was happy that they are healthy and if I keep on doing what I’m doing, should make it through the winter. So let’s have a closer look at them:

Our healthy nucleus

Our healthy nucleus – taken today. They are on 5 frames, but have capped honey on 2 more

It should be mentioned just how gentle the bees are – I’m not certain I even need to wear my gear when I have the crown board off the hive, though I do of course wear my veil at all times, especially necessary if I have the frames out! They are really placid, but have laid down a lot of honey and grown in strength quite a lot since they were housed. We started off with bees on two frames and honey on another, making three frames in total. That’s more than doubled.

Arrival of the Bees - Brood Frame

Brood frame with capped honey, and uncapped honey (Balsam (yellow), heather (Dark), and syrup (almost white/clear))

So, the start of another exciting adventure for us – I’m really enjoying the company of the bees so far, and will of course post updates when there is something to report!

A Beehive

Posted on: July 14th, 2012 by
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Today marks the start of another avenue of activity at Cae Non – we have bought our first beehive! So, in the spring of 2013, I will be starting an apiary on site, initially just with one nucleus, but we hope to eventually expand to several colonies/hives.

National Beehive

Our new Beehive – the first of many!

I have been meaning to start my own apiary for some time now but haven’t got round to it (I have experience from working other people’s hives though!), so, when on a family visit to Conwy Honey Fair today I noticed a gentleman selling second-hand hives, I knew the time had come to take the plunge. On impulse I practically ran to the cash machine in the square and raided my account before dashing back to make one of the hives mine!  This came as a surprise, not just to the rest of the family, but also to myself in a way… though I’m thrilled with my purchase!

BeehiveSo this means, that come next autumn, we may very well have a little honey from our own bees, although it will take time to estabilsh a colony vigerous enough to produce a useful amount. I must admit to being teribly excited – I want to get cracking now although I will have to wait – this is no time to do anything with new colonies. But hopefully in March or April next year we will obtain a nucleus or swarm and start this exciting journey properly!