Saturday, 31 March 2012

Buckets and Bonfires

The Bee-keeping year officially starts on 1st April .  However, due to the vagaries of the British weather it isn't always possible to actually start bee-keeping.  Bees don't really like to play out when the temperature is under 12'c so the roofs stayed firmly on the hives at the Apiary today.

As a beginner bee keeper all the apiary house keeping jobs were new to me and an opportunity to learn so I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in.  
First job of the day to fill 100 1oz taster pots with honey for prizes on a fundraising stall at the Surrey honey show in a few weeks time.  A bucket ( yup a whole bucket!) of honey was provided and a jug was the tool of choice....

 Can you smell all the golden sticky yumminess coming off those super cute taster pots?

After such a wonderful job it seemed only fair that I got a mucky job next.  

Clearing the shed was next on the list.  I'm not fond of sheds ... generally they involve too many spiders for my liking.  There were lots of old brood and super boxes that had been put away at the end of last summer .. sadly one had attracted the attention of a mouse, which had then moved in and made itself very comfortable over the winter.  Sadly it had caused a huge amount of damage...

Which meant there was nothing else to be done but destroy the box and damaged frames and as killing off potential sources of disease is key ... that meant a bonfire.  The smell of burning wax and cedar wood filled the air....

Final job of the day was to cut old wax out of frames and put it in the solar wax extractor.  Left in the sun for a few weeks it will melt down into a block that can be made into candles or recycled into new foundation wax next year.

It wasn't the day I'd hoped for, certainly wasn't the day I'd expected but wow - what a lot I learnt at my first practical day in the Apiary.

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