Will the honey flow for you?

Everyone who uses the internet has probably heard about the ‘Flow’ hive by now – www.honeyflow.com, “It’s Literally Honey on Tap Directly From Your Beehive!”. As I’ve never made a poll before, I thought this post would be a good chance to learn how to do one, so I’ve made one about the Flow Hive.

EDIT: And it’s launched! $300 USD for six frames fitting a Langstroth super, $350 for eight frames, $600 for a full hive: indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive

Flow Hive frames

How does it work?

See the FAQs section of the Flow website: “The Flow frame consists of already partly formed honeycomb cells.  The bees complete the comb with their wax, fill the cells with honey and cap the cells as usual.  When you turn the tool, a bit like a tap, the cells split vertically inside the comb forming channels, allowing the honey to flow down to a sealed trough at the base of the frame and out of the hive, while the bees are practically undisturbed on the comb surface.

When the honey has finished draining, you turn the tap again in the upper slot which resets the comb into the original position and allows the bees to chew the wax capping away, and fill it with honey again.” – http://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/p/22 

My thoughts on it: Having read through the patent, I do believe it will work, at least with uncrystallised honey… but with oil seed rape or ivy honey that has set hard in the combs? – we shall see. I probably won’t be rushing in to buy one, but I shall be interested to see how other English beekeepers find it and then perhaps consider buying one, depending on how much they cost. Here’s an email written by the famous Michael Bush about the design, he seems mostly positive about it: http://www.honeyflow.com/letters/p/24.

I don’t have any objections to the product itself, but I do have some worries about the way it’s being marketed. Their website says “In our area it is normal to inspect the brood nest of each hive twice a year for disease. In some areas beekeepers check more frequently.” Twice a year is not enough to notice diseases and stop swarming, so this could give people the wrong impression of how much work keeping bees involves. Let’s say you check in April – no sign of disease – then you check again in September – perhaps now your colony shows signs of American Foul Brood (AFB). Well, all that time your bees could have been infecting other colonies, all of which under UK law would have to be destroyed.

Not such a problem in rural areas with no other hives around, but not good practice in cities or densely populated countries such as the UK. Their patent also makes some odd claims – for instance, “traditional hives leave spaces for pests and diseases.” Well, most diseases spread in the brood combs, so since it seems this product is used to replace the super combs, I don’t see how it will help. Or what they have in mind by spaces causing diseases either. Perhaps more details on this will follow.

Some of the comments written on Facebook by non-beekeepers about it are a bit disturbing – people seem to think that easy extraction of honey will benefit the bees, e.g. “I sure hope this keeps the world’s honey bee populating flourishing!!” and “You may have singlehandedly saved the world’s bee population: this invention is poised to bring beekeeping to the masses, exponentially increasing the bee population.

The problem facing most bees in the world – and there are roughly 19,300 species of them, so this device affects a teeny weeny percentage – is a lack of habitat and flowers. Being able to easily take honey from honey bees is going to do absolutely nothing to help that. Arguably, if we have too many honey bees that could actually mean the wild bees, such as bumbles and solitary bees, lose out because there aren’t enough flowers to go round. Plus a high density of hives kept by people only inspecting twice a year would be a recipe to spread disease.

Anyway, that’s enough of me ranting on! I’ll get off my box now. What do you guys think?

Honey buckets

Honey extraction – the labour intensive way

Posted in Hive types, Honey | 79 Comments

The coming of the snowdrops

Each year I wait for this and it always fills me with optimism. The apiary snowdrops are now in full spectacular bloom, all white and green against the winter. Quite a few people were saying how much bigger they look this year.


Snowdrops 2

The apiary was silent and still, with no bees flying out to greet us. Only a magpie and a robin flew. Under the hive roofs I found our bees clustering round their fondant, their little eyes peering upwards at the blast of cold air. I did not peek long. Under the hives, the varroa boards had few mites on them – around 3-10 had fallen on the various boards during the week. The oxalic treatment has worked.

More snowdrops

Snowdrops and tree

The crocuses are out too. I suspect they must open for the morning sun as I always seem to find them closed for business. Their little clumps always seem more fragile than the cavorting snowdrops.

February crocuses (unopened)None of us had brought any cakes, so we had to make do with hot tea and soft biscuits. A cold has kept me sniffling this week and not in the mood for baking, but today I’m feeling better. Standing around the table, stories were told. A decorator who wanted to charge £450 to put up wallpaper in a small box room. Students paying £500 a week to rent a room. Poor Stan has had to deal with a new enemy – a fox who was seen knocking two of his hives over and eating the contents. Let’s hope more foxes don’t pick up this trick.

Crocuses semi-open


According to the Met Office, meteorological spring runs from 1 March to 31 May, whereas astronomical spring runs from 20 March to 21 June 2015 (see When does spring start). The 20th March is in four weeks time, so if all five hives are still alive by then we can truly say we have got all our bees through winter.

Looking back at my blog, we have shook-swarmed the bees before on either the 2nd, 3rd or 4th weekends in March, depending on which weekends turned out to be sunny. Alan was saying that he plans to shook-swarm his in the next couple of weeks, as he feels that if left too late you end up destroying more brood and it sets the colony back more. He did say that you need a good sunny location and a big colony, preferably in two brood boxes, to do it in February.

Once we do the shook-swarm the beekeeping year will kick off and the work involved in having five hives which need to be inspected weekly will truly begin.

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An evening spent peering at sexual material

Plant sexual material, that is of course. Sorry to disappoint any of my readers hoping to hear about the sexual parts of bees or indeed any other species.

Last Thursday I was busy on the first evening session of a London Beekeepers Association three evening microscopy course. I can reveal that the first challenge of going on a microscopy course is learning how to say the damn word. Cue me lisping ‘Mi-cross-cospy’ again and again.

We began by looking at some slides of brassica and dandelion pollens, as well as a varroa mite, under compound microscopes. The microscopes are an expensive piece of kit that need to be treated carefully; the ones we were using cost between £180-350. We also prepared some of our own pollen slides from fresh flowers and did some Melissopalynology by testing the pollen in our own honeys.

Microscopy course

Pollens of course are the plant’s way of making love – they contain male genetic material. Bees and other pollinators – beetles, bats, midges, moths, butterflies, to name a few – help some plants spread their pollen to reach the female parts of other flowers of their species. Other plants, such as grasses and some trees, rely on wind pollination, while aquatic plants use water pollination.

“For to the bee a flower is the fountain of life. And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love.” (Kahil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923)

Under the microscope, pollens reveal themselves to have a multitude of complex and wonderful shapes that often remind me of primitive sea creatures. The trained eyes of someone who has studied Forensic Palynology can identify pollens on a murder victim or suspect and link them to a particular location.

Another use for pollen identification is to check the geographical origins of a honey. All honey should have at least a few grains of pollen – a complete lack of pollen indicates that either 1) the substance tested is not honey or 2) it has been micro-filtered to remove all pollen and conceal its origins. A 2011 survey by Food Safety News famously found that more than three-fourths of the honey they tested from U.S. grocery stores had been ultra-filtered and technically wasn’t honey. If you are a Chinese producer, concealing the origins of your honey can be a way to sneak it into the U.S. and avoid paying the correct import tariffs. Another reason to buy from local beekeepers who you trust!

Back at home I have been practising my pollen drawing, to give you an idea of the fantastic microscopic shapes lodged in the pollen baskets of bees.

Hairy willow herb pollen

Corncockle pollen

Michaelmas daisy pollen

Some pollen resources:

  • The pollen grain drawings of Dorothy Hodges (IBRA, 2009) – reproduced from the iconic and difficult to get hold of 1952 original by Dorothy Hodges, The pollen loads of the honey bee. Black and white drawings of the pollen grains.
  • A colour guide to pollen loads of the honey bee by William Kirk (IBRA, 2006) – colour charts of common pollens.
  • Pollen chart – interactive with toggles for different seasons, from Sheffield beekeepers
  • Pollen guide – Bristol Beekeeping Association have produced an interactive pollen guide, access by clicking on ‘Pollen guide’ along their top navigation menu
Posted in Events | Tagged | 17 Comments

Beekeeping through the camera lens – a talk by Simon Croson

On Wednesday night I went to a talk by Simon Croson at the London Beekeepers’ Association in south London. Simon had travelled all the way down from Lincolnshire to share his expertise in taking photos of bees with us.

He has taken an impressively quick journey from novice to small-scale bee farmer and bee photography prize winner. He started beekeeping in 2006 and then took his Basic Beekeeping exam in 2007. Since then he has won the Apimondia Gold medal for bee photography in 2011 and 2013 and launched his own honey company, The Artisan Honey Company Ltd. A tall, imposing man with broad shoulders and what I call a ‘badger beard’, he was previously in the RAF. See the article ‘Honey, I found a new career‘ to find out more about his progress.

Why take bee photos? (as if most of us needed much persuading!)

  • Helps you get a better understanding of bees – why and how they do what they do
  • Build your own teaching reference library to show others
  • Photos make you question things

The first “real bee photo” Simon took was of varroa mites on his bees, which had been given to him by a certain supplier. Thanks to the photo, word got around that this supplier was selling varroa infested bees. Simon found himself being tapped on the back at a beekeeping event and asked by the supplier “What’s this I hear that you’ve been saying my bees have varroa?”. Simon showed him the photo, only for the supplier to say “So that’s what they look like!”. It just goes to show that even very experienced beekeepers can be ignorant of bee biology and diseases.

Simon’s kit

  • Olympus DSLR, various lenses, ring flash
  • Uses a 50mm macro lens for most of his work
  • Recommends a purpose built macro lens rather than an adapter if you can afford it.

You can find out more about his equipment on his website at: sicroson.com/Sicroson.com/Olympus_Cameras.html

Simon’s tips for getting a good photo:

  • Try to move in close rather than zooming in – get within a couple of inches of your subject.
  • Move in gradually and slowly towards bees you are photographing, so you don’t startle them off.
  • You might need artificial light – a flash on a camera could be shadowed out as you get close. Simon uses a ring flash, which produces nice diffused light to let you get lots of detail.
  • Foraging bees are quicker but are less aggressive than when in the hives. Find a flower bees are visiting and wait by it.
  • Put your camera on manual focus.
  • Use f-stops to isolate the subject or increase the area in focus. F-stops range from 1.2 to 45 and control the size of the lens aperture.
  • Use shallow depth of field with a low f-stop number to get small parts of the bee in focus. The eyes will usually be the most interesting part to focus on.

Photo of trophallaxis (food sharing) between bees by Drew Scott. Note how the eyes are in focus and the background blurry.

More on F-stops

A shallow depth of field using a wide aperture (low f-stop number – f2.8/f4 etc) to let lots of light in results in a soft and blurry background which helps draw the eye to the bees in the foreground.

F45 is really deep depth of field with a narrow aperture restricting light into the camera – you need an enormous amount of light around to be able to see much in the resulting photo. When using an f22 or higher stop Simon recommends using a ring flash, unless it’s a really bright sunny day.

Basic principles

  • Understand how your bees react to cameras. Wear protection around bees at unfamiliar hives. Cameras generate electromagnetic fields which the bees can sense and might be bothered by.
  • Get in as close as you safely can, don’t zoom.
  • If wearing a veil, don’t press your camera close to your face to look through – a recipe for getting stung. Try to use your camera’s live view screen instead.
  • No point using a tripod or monopod as bees move around too much. Instead brace your camera with your hands and hold it as tightly as you can to reduce shake.
  • Use flash to freeze movement and add detail.
  • During brood inspections, keep the frame as parallel to the lens as possible so that the cells are in focus. A ring flash is good for clear photos of eggs.
  • Get creative – there are lots of cheap apps that let you convert parts of your photo to black & white and do other exciting special effects.
Get in close. Photo by Drew Scott.

Get in close. Photo by Drew Scott.

There are certain times when bees are easier to photograph. For instance, newly emerged bees are more docile and move more slowly on the frames. If you’ve accidentally broken brace comb during an inspection, resulting in exposed larvae or dribbled honey, the bees will be preoccupied in cleaning this up and often too busy to notice you. Foragers will clean their antennae just before they set off; drones clean their antennae and eyes when returning.

Bee tending to a larvae which had unfortunately had its cell accidentally broken during a inspection. Photo by Drew Scott.

Bee tending to a larvae which had unfortunately had its cell accidentally broken during a inspection. Photo by Drew Scott.

Simon is a big user of Facebook and posts photos there nearly every day, for instance in the community ‘From Virginia to Lincolnshire – Beekeeping Across The Pond‘. As he says, the great thing about photos is they can be appreciated by everyone, no matter what language you speak. He has 80,000 photos stored on his Macbook, so there’s a lot to post! A book is being planned, but he’s rather secretive about it.

After the talk I do feel inspired to have a go with Drew’s fancy camera, though he will have to explain to me how to switch between f-stops. All the technical terms are still a bit mysterious to me, think I really need a practical session experimenting with all the settings to understand them.

Some more excellent bee photographers:

  • Rose Lynn-Fisher – never mind macro, Rose’s thing is microscopic photos of bee parts. They’re even more fascinating (and hairy!) up this close.
  • Elise Fog – Elise commented below. Her close-ups of pollen showered bees of all kinds are spectacular. Checkout her camera setup, which she told me via Twitter weighs 5 lb 9 oz.
  • Eric Tourneret, ‘The Bee Photographer’ – Eric travels the world taking beautiful photos of bees and beekeepers. There is probably no aspect of bee behaviour he hasn’t yet captured and his website has useful captions explaining each photo.
  • Mark Berkery – Mark has a fascination and love for insects of all kinds, which he photographs up close, taking great care not to harm them. His posts are very philosophical as well as containing amazing photos.
  • Stephen Falk – recommended by Philip Strange in the comments below. Nice closeups of native bees, flies and wasps.
  • Zachary Huang – recommended by theprospectofbees in the comments – “Zachary Huang, an associate professor at Michigan State University, has a nice bee photography site at http://ww2.beetography.com/index.php. We do not know what all his tricks are.” I especially like his UV flower photos.

Photographers who blog about how to take good insect photos:

I know I’ve read some other great posts about taking insect photos, but can’t recall the authors/find the links now, so do comment and let me know about any others (even if you wrote them yourself, don’t be modest!).

Posted in Events | 31 Comments

Mind your beeswax

On Friday a fierce cold came over me while I worked. My eyes weeped and my nose sneezed. As the day progressed, I felt so miserable that I skipped the Burns night dinner I had booked that evening – losing the chance to eat oaty haggis and creamy Cranachan. I feared I might have to miss Saturday’s Harrow Beekeepers wax workshop.

Desperately trying to cure myself, I drank two lots of lemsip with honey from my hives and went to bed early. In the morning, I woke to find the wretched sniffing and sneezing had stopped. I can’t prove it was the honey, but I like to think it was.

What a relief that I was able to go. The Harrow association had put on a packed practical day of learning how to roll, dip and mould wax candles, plus make furniture polish, soap and hand cream. Wax is a valuable product that beekeepers, including myself, tend to underuse. It takes the bees a considerable amount of energy and effort to produce it, after all – we should value it just as much as honey. It’s excreted from the eight wax glands on the underside of bees’ abdomens, before being kneaded by the bee with its mandibles, adding a secretion from the mandibular glands. A worker bee needs about 4 minutes to complete the preparation of each tiny scale of wax, after which it can be moulded into place to form comb (Jürgen Tautz, The Buzz about Bees (2008).

There were twenty of us doing the workshop, split into four groups of five. Each group took it in turn to do an activity with four instructors from Harrow. My group’s first class was candle rolling using wax foundation, taught by Doreen Pattenson. Doreen has a website at nascotwoodbees.co.uk and is on Twitter at @NWBees. Below you can see some of her expertly rolled candles.

Rolled candles
Doreen gave us lots of tips on candle rolling. One was not to do it on a cold day (like it was, being winter). We had a bit of trouble with the wax as it gets quite brittle and cracks easily when cold. She buys her wax foundation from Thornes – thorne.co.uk/candlemaking – and also from kemble-bees.com, which she feels has the best quality wax. It should be unwired, of course. If you buy Langstroth frame sized foundation you get more for your money.

Below she is demonstrating cutting the wax at an angle to start the candle.

Cutting candle wax

Cut your wick to size and dip one end in molten wax. Lay the wick at one end and carefully wrap the foundation tightly around it, as tightly as you can.

Doreen beginning to roll a candle

Doreen beginning to roll a candle

Keep rolling till you reach the end. The tighter you’ve rolled it, the longer it will burn. Doreen’s candles were extremely tight.

Doreen rolling a candle

Doreen rolling a candle

To decorate her candles, Doreen uses cookie cutters to cut out different coloured wax shapes such as little hearts. She then presses these into the rolled candle. If reluctant to stay on, the shapes can be encouraged into place with a hairdryer. But do not overdo the hairdryer, as the candle wax may start to melt and lose its pattern. She also buys little plastic bee pins for extra prettiness.

Next we went on to Bill Fitzmaurice, who demonstrated how to make beeswax polish in about ten seconds, followed by how to make dipped candles in considerably longer time.

Bill pouring polish

Bill pouring polish

Prepare your candle wicks for dipping by straightening out the wick, pulling it down gently. You will need a long tall pot – Bill was using an asparagus boiler.

Bill Fitzmaurice preparing candle wick

Bill Fitzmaurice preparing candle wick

Quickly lower the string into molten wax, then draw it out again, keeping it straight. Repeat until enough wax has built up to look like the examples below. This is how people made candles before they used moulds or rolled sheets of foundation.

Dipped candles

Dipped candles

Bill has a winning lady. Here she is in pink.

Glowing queen mould

And here she is in yellow. Smooth and immaculately turned out, yet hefty and capable of giving someone a good whack. Cheaper than the real thing too, as she doesn’t require a palace to live in or a pack of corgis.

Waxy queen

When we stopped for lunch, the bees were busy revelling in the sunshine. Water seemed to be on their minds, probably to dilute honey stores. Harrow have about twenty hives in their apiary, so we had no shortage of curious visitors. Lucky they didn’t know what we were up to with their precious wax.

Bees at water butt 2

Bees at water butt

After lunch we had a candle moulding class with Jo Telfer. Jo has a clever trick involving pasta to hold the wick away from the wax when you pour it in. Below is my phone box candle.

Wax in candle mould

And here’s Harrow beekeeper Nabaa pouring wax into her mould. She did the workshop last year and was taking it again because she enjoyed it so much last time.

Pouring wax into candle mould

Nabaa pouring wax into candle mould

Finally the last class was with Judy Earl, whose immaculate wax creations have featured on this blog before. No photos from this class, as Judy kept us busy measuring out ingredients and stirring them together to produce delicious smelling cold process soap and hand cream. Goggles and gloves were required.

At the end of the day we all had several goodies to take away from each class – our rolled candles, dipped candles, moulded candles, furniture polish, soap and hand cream. Bill sent us this photo yesterday afternoon, along with a nice email which said:

 “Just to thank you for coming on the workshop today, a group photo is attached. We really enjoyed running the day and hope it’ll inspire you to make more products from the beeswax you produce. If you have a local Honey show, please consider entering the wax/candle classes, maybe even have a go at the National! “

Harrow beekeepers wax workshop

If you’re interested in going on one of the courses, there are two a year and Bill already has several people on the waiting list for the next one. So get in there quickly – info on the course can be found at harrowbeekeepers.co.uk/node/84

EDIT: See my hive partner Emma’s post ‘A beeswax and lavender butter‘ for a lovely moisturising butter recipe which is easy to make at home.

EDIT 2: Helen Worwood from Epsom Beekeepers has also written a blog post on the workshop, ‘Beeswax treasure‘, with lots of photos of the day and especially the soap making process.

Posted in Events | 23 Comments

Happy news and a honey tasting

Yesterday I came home to find a letter waiting. It had a nice surprise – I passed Module 2, which means I now have the BBKA’s Intermediate Theory Certificate. Please forgive me for posting about this, but I have so little going for me to show off about that I take every opportunity I get!

Module 2 exam results

Of course, I’ve forgotten most of what I learnt already. I have the kind of brain which is good at cramming things in for the short-term, but bad at remembering things long-term. For instance, there are very few books or films I can recall the plot for and indeed sometimes I can pick up a book and not be sure whether I’ve read it or not.

Module 2 paper 2014

Above is part of the exam paper. I did Q11, 13, 14, 15 and 16. You can see how lucky I was with the questions, I got away with writing lots about pollination and honey composition and not much about the tricky subject of extracting honey and preparing it for sale.

The Ealing Association committee asked me if I would do a talk at one of our regular beekeepers meetings, so I decided to do one about pollination and honey, with some honey tasting afterwards. I was very happy that lots of people brought honey along, especially our Chairman Clare Vernon. We must have had about thirty different honeys to try.

Emma took some lovely photos which show off the warm and glowing colours we had in front of us. She has kindly let me post them here – all of the photos below were taken by Emma. You can find her blog at http://missapismellifera.com.

The ‘Hunang’ honey is very special honey from Iceland. You can read about how it came to London in Emma’s blog post ‘Beekeeping in Iceland‘. I have been slow in eating it because I respect the effort the bees made in producing it in such cold, windy conditions, so want to savour it gradually.

Icelandic and Welsh honey

Icelandic and Welsh honey

I made some little honey cakes for us to eat. Elsa brought along lemon drizzle cake, plus we had breadsticks and baklava. Quite the meeting of hungry bears.

Honey and cakes

PollenThere was much debate going on about the best honeys.

Elsa, Betty and Sara

Elsa, Betty and Sara

Here are Hanwell beekeepers Pat and Jackie.

Jackie and Pat

At the end we all had a vote on our favourite. I was surprised at how different our tastes all were, some people loved a dark, strong honey which I didn’t like at all. And a gloopy honey from Texas really divided people too. However, some clear winners did emerge:

  1. Alan and Betty Gibb’s honey – full of deep floral flavours
  2. Kew Gardens honey
  3. Ivy honey – this was honey I bought from Stephen’s blog ‘In a Beekeepers Garden’, see his post ‘Late ivy honey harvest‘. It had a pale colour and firm texture, causing a lot of disagreement over whether it had been creamed or not.

Even though we had honeys from all over the world – including Turkey, Italy, Borneo, the U.S., Iceland, Germany – we picked three British honeys as our favourites! Are British honeys best?!

Betty and Alan with their winning honey

Betty and Alan with their winning honey

The honey tasting was definitely worth doing as at the end Alan and Betty gave me their jar of winning honey. Thank you!

Posted in Exams, Honey | Tagged | 40 Comments

Thoughts on beekeeping and mental health

“You are all mad!”, one of our apiary visitors declared, shaking his head in wonder. He had just listened to John and Andy talking about how to painstakingly prepare honey entries for the National Honey Show, including the best ways to air-dry jars so that no pesky water marks remain.

Plenty of non-beekeepers probably think the same thing, but for a different reason – the famous bee sting. Who knows what they would make of the Ealing member who is highly allergic to stings, yet continues beekeeping due to her love of the bees. Or the sight of Ealing members gathered outside at the apiary to drink tea and talk bees with drifts of snow around us.


But I am going to make a different argument – that beekeeping and similar hobbies could actually be good for your mental and physical health.

This Christmas I was able to do some reading and one of the books I found in my local library was ‘Crow Country‘ by Mark Cocker (2008). It’s all about his love of corvids and rooks in particular, which thrive around his home near Norwich.

Towards the end of the book, Mark talks about how birders and others with a single obsession are often viewed as ‘sad’ by the general public.

“why is it that people who are absorbed by something are seen as sad? I can’t explain it. But for me it reverses the true state of affairs. To be engaged is to be a part, to be absorbed and fulfilled. To be cool, to be detached from things and to have no passionate feeling is the real sadness. At the heart of depression, that quintessentially modern malaise, is a deep sense of separation from the rest of life.

At its fullest, studying the life of another living creature is a way of engaging all of your faculties. In short, it’s a way of being intensely alive, and recognising that you are so. At the same way it is a form of valuing life and of appreciating the fundamental tenet of all ecology: that every thing is connected to everything else.”
(Mark Cocker, Crow Country, p.186-187).

As Mark puts it, “enquiring becomes a way of loving”. So I shall continue loving my bees by watching them, talking about them, reading about them and learning more about life through them.

Beekeeping, or indeed any other hobby or obsession, is a chance to become connected to others and the world around us. I have met so many fascinating people both at the apiary and online through the bees. And there is something physically satisfying about being outside with the bees, taking in rain, wind, sunshine and fresh air, being surrounded by nature.

Beekeeping can inspire creativity too, perhaps in the form of a beautiful piece of carpentry, a delicious honey cake, melliferous mead, or stunning wax creations like those made by Judy Earl. These acts of creation can bring us a sense of achievement, of having made something real and tangible, that can often be shared with others to bring them joy also. That can only be good for our mental wellbeing.

We are truly lucky to have access to so many wonderful products produced by the bees and so many potential crafts and skills that naturally spin off from beekeeping. Skep making, microscopy, photography, baking, cosmetics, candle making….the list is long and vibrant. To paraphrase a comment I made in an earlier post, we need the bees much more than they need us.

What do you think – is beekeeping good for your health? Even when you’re sweating buckets in your beesuit and hopping around in pain after the bees found some particularly delicate spots? I hope so!

Bee sponge cake

Display by Judy Earl


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