I first started beekeeping in the summer of 2008, having taken the Ealing Association’s excellent annual beekeeping course for beginners in spring 2008. Since then, beekeeping has taken me on a journey I could never have anticipated – to exams, having a blog, meeting beekeepers from distant countries, being sent a book to review, getting interviewed for a podcast and student dissertations, helping teach beginners on the Ealing course and most of all having so much fun with the bees and beekeepers at the apiary.
I’ll tell you a secret – I need the bees much more than they need me. So thank you to our bees for a fabulous year and all the honey. Here’s some memories of 2015:
I’m always excited to see the first snowdrops of the year. This photo was taken in February 2014 – I reckon they’ll appear at least two weeks earlier in 2015.
Eating Clare’s chocolate and banana loaf in February – one of the first of many delicious cakes and warming cups of tea.
The first crocuses follow the snowdrops. Happy Days.
A beginner inspecting our hives on a sunny March day. Once March is over I feel our bees have safely survived the winter. I’ve been very lucky and haven’t lost any bees yet since I started in 2008.
How I love to see bumbles flying again too. This was taken in April 2014.
One of our beautiful queens.
And here I am being a queen for the day :)
Seeing Apis dorsata colonies from far away, on honeymoon in Borneo.
It was such a glorious summer, one of the best I can remember. Warm and sunny, with light rain now and again to keep the nectar flowing.
Andy Pedley had a birthday, here he is blowing out the candles on his magnificent skep cake.
How happy and grateful we were to finally harvest some honey, after many years of barely any. And we left plenty for the bees – each hive went into winter with a super of honey as well as a full brood box.
Comb = home.
Photo of Clare’s cat Simba included because, well, he’s incredibly cute. Best mouse guard any beekeeper could hope for.
Judy Earl’s stunning wax biscuits at the London Honey Show in October.
And so here we are. A successful year, in which Emma and I kept our bees alive and harvested honey. It was not a good year internationally in many ways, full of harrowing events. Locally too, there have been tragedies. I am so grateful to have had a good year and to have my bees and a beekeeping partner with plenty of common sense and organisational skills :)
Happy Christmas everyone, wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful 2015.