Saturday, 23 November 2013

BBKA Survey: Honeybees warm to their work.

Headline : Honeybees warm to their work 

If you go on to you'll find some interesting highlights from 2013 Survey.
For example : Honey production rose to 24.7lbs/hive in 2013 compared to 8.1lbs last year.
(3x last year's but still below average )
20years ago you would expect to get 40lbs/hive.
In 2013 1:10 beekeepers took no honey crop. Some decided to leave all the stores in the hive
in preparation for a potentially bad, long winter 2013/2014.

Weren't we lucky?  Those black, hardy northern workers
managed 70lbs each productive hive. QB left a full super on each
hive + whatever was in the broodbox + all those kgs of sugar syrup
we fed them in Sept.
It's still vital to regularly heft the hives as winter deepens/lengthens, making decisions about fondant when the weight is estimated as
alright or low.

If you are thinking of giving gifts with a honeybee theme this Christmas try The Pollen Basket , the BBKA
Official Shop.  There are some OK things, depending on your taste for the 'corny'!!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Not much Forage

A brisk walk around my frost-bound garden soon revealed, well, very little of interest to a honeybee!

The mahonia is just coming into full bloom - for the first year as it's only 2 years old.  Bees love this but of course they're all tucked up snug in their cosy double-walled WBC homes. Air temp. is 2C and Big Cheviot is covered in snow.
Still QB is happily buzzing around!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Recipe for Honey Cake

HONEY CAKE : to make if you're lucky enough to have any honey left!

225G butter ;  250g honey;  100g dark muscovado sugar;  3 lg. eggs beaten; 300g S.R.flour.

Preheat oven to 160C (140c fan)

Grease and line 20cm. cake tin.
Cut butter into pieces and drop into med. pan with the honey and sugar.
Melt slowly over low heat.
Then inc. heat and boil for 1 min.
Leave to cool.
When cool beat eggs into honey mixture.
Beat flour into egg and honey mixture to a smooth batter.
Pour into tin and cook for 1-11/2 hrs. Test with skewer - done when comes out clean
and cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed.
Turn cake out onto wire rack and glaze with 2-3 tbs. melted honey.

Thanks Jean for this recipe.

HBKA at Tyne Valley G.C.(Mickley)

This HBKA stand was set up in unison with Broomley 1st School.  The children now have bee colonies and are learning about bee-keeping.  There were some lovely crafted items made by the children. When we got there the GC staff were really helpful.  We set about reorganising the stand as it was difficult to see the gifts and we needed more space for our candles, honey and polish.  We eventually set up a second table to try to solve the space issue.

There was a great deal of interest from the Christmas Fair visitors.
They loved The Honey cake made by Philip's wife as well as sampling the honey. Sales of candles went well and many visitors were interested in how they were made as well as being curious about the other  uses of beeswax. We talked to a lot of people about the pleasure and importance of keeping bees. Generally a very good day - fulfilling the educational  purpose of the HBKA stand.

The reindeer put on a good show too, although this one, Doughnut was in a very grumpy mood - typical blokey attitude as Christmas approaches!  He decided to rub the velvet off his magnificent antlers and treated the public to bloody antlers with streamers of velvet hanging off in ribbons. Try explaining that to the kids.

For us mere humans a tiring day but worth it. Tynedale Valley GC is really well worth visiting.
QB still buzzing