The first hive opened this year
Cutting off brace comb
Frames stuck with propolis
Seen on Thursday 6th May 2021 in Patrick's (secretary) back garden - an Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria) a distinctive spring - flying bee with striking black and white markings.
Bees on old black comb
An emerged queen cell. Note that the "trap door" is still attached - it shows she hasn't been out long!

Recent activity at the apiary

John Young has now been appointed acting apiary manager until the next agm when we can formally elect a new manager. He is overseeing all of the work at the apiary and the care of the bees. If you have any questions about what's going on please get in touch with him.
Covid restrictions made it very difficult to maintain the apiary and the hives in 2020 and early 2021, but the committee members and other volunteers have had a few days when they tidied up and cut back the vegetation, as well as cleaning up the hut, the stores and the chemical toilets, mending fencing and de-congesting the pond. The old boxes have been cleaned up ready for re-use - they yielded over 8kg of clean wax.
The number of colonies, which had dwindled during the long lockdown period has increased to seven hives by making splits and capturing swarms. Several new beekeepers have also been supplied with bees by our team of swarm collectors.

On August 22nd we extracted our honey for the year - it was never going to be a record harvest but we were happy with the moderate quantity of dark, rich tasting honey. It will soon be jarred and available for sale at £7.50 per 1lb jar. We also have 2019 honey for sale at the bargain price of £5 a jar, and cleaned beeswax in 1oz bars. The branch honey show was held on September 4th. John Hendrie kindly acted as judge, and took the audience through the various stages of judging honey. He whittled down the 11 entries, citing clarity, weight, presentation, aroma and taste, to declare the top three winning entries - although there were mutterings of "stitch up!" when it was revealed that these were all from committee members. The afternoon was rounded off with an excellent barbecue.

Smoking the bees down out of the super ready for extraction
Brushing the bees off a frame
Using the uncapping knife.
Uncapping with a fork
Ready to switch on the radial extractor
Carrying a super back to the hut for extraction
John Hendrie testing the granulation of a jar of honey
Sampling the taste of honey
At the barbecue