Syrup for the bees, cakes for us

It’s dangerous going down to the Ealing apiary. Not because of the bees, but because of the amount of cake on offer. This week I made pecan pie, Claire made a honey show recipe cake, Matwinder brought prunes soaked in raspberry juice and Pat some chocolate fudge squares. Obviously I had to try a piece of each to test it all 🙂

Paul Hollywood's pecan pie

Paul Hollywood’s pecan pie

Above, my attempt at Paul Hollywood’s pecan pie recipe. I made the pastry myself and everything, which is hard for me. The filling is lovely and gooey, full of golden syrup and butter.

Clare's honey cake

Clare’s honey cake

Claire is a doctor and a talented singer too. On top of that she makes a fine honey cake. She was following the National Honey Show’s honey fruit cake recipe; it tasted great but the dip in the middle would have prevented it being a winning entry. The judges are very keen on presentation!

Oh yes, and I did see some bees in-between stuffing myself with goodies. Mouseguards are on now. Here are two of John’s New Zealanders checking theirs out. There was talk of a kind of British shrew which can fit through a mouseguard, but all agreed they are unlikely to turn up in Ealing.

The bees were bringing plenty of golden yellow pollen back; John thought this was likely to be from Michelmas daisies. The Michelmas daisy takes its name because its blooms historically coincided with the Feast of St Michael on 29th September.

Some Autumnal pics:

These thistle balls have sharp arms which stick wonderfully to fluffy jumpers and hair. Drew and me had a great time throwing them at each other.

Below: ivy flowers. The bees are going crazy for these up and down the country right now. Although a very useful late nectar source for over-wintering bees, ivy nectar can crystallize in the flowers or, after storage, in the honeycomb and become unavailable to the bees (Plants and Honey Bees: their relationships by David Aston & Sally Bucknall, 2009). Pollen loads are yellow-orange and the honey white.

Blog posts of the week:

Nature’s Place, ‘Stingless Sugarbag Bees
I guarantee these macro bee shots will blow you away. They are the best I’ve come across online yet. Can you see all her eyes? (here’s a clue: bees have five eyes, not two). If you want to know how Mark does it, read his ‘Macro Illustrated‘ post.

Disperser Tracks, ‘The Busy Bees – Summer 2012
Emilio J. D’Alise is based in Colorado and takes mainly (spectacular) wildlife and nature photos; he has a dry sense of humour which I appreciate, and this week has turned his talents to the bees in his garden visiting Russian sage.

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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17 Responses to Syrup for the bees, cakes for us

  1. disperser says:

    Thanks for the mention. I am, however, surprised to be classified as having a dry sense of humor. If memory serves me right, dry humor was invented near your parts. I would think my poor attempts at it would hardly be noticed, swimming as you guys must be in that sort of thing.

    I’ll take it as a compliment . . . or was that comment more of that famous dry British humor?

    Dang!! I forgot British love of extra “u”s. Please feel free to disperse the following “u u u u u u u u u u u u”s wherever needed. For example: humour, memoury, coumpliment, eutc.


  2. I recognized the adult ivy that looks just like the one in my garden. The bees do completely adore this! Gorgeous fall pics!


  3. I always get attacked by the burs and thistles too. The honey cake looks very good, I can almost smell it through the screen.


  4. Interesting. I never know why ivy flowers, which look so unrewarding, are attractive to bees, wasps and similar insects. Also, both you and Miss Apis Mellifera keep bees AND seem to have a cake ‘thing’ But which came first…?


    • Emily Heath says:

      The attractiveness of ivy flowers is probably partly due to high sugar content nectar and partly because there’s not much forage about at this time of year. Lots of beekeepers like cake. It gives us energy to lift hive boxes in the summer and warms us up in the winter!


  5. ceciliag says:

    Golden syrup and butter, what more could you ask for.. I like cake too. One of my dreams is to pop over and spend a day in the bees with you two and then have cake and cups of tea afterwards. I do miss having someone to talk bees with! c


  6. Sounds a jolly group. All I have for company is the bees, a cantakerous robin, a husband, and lately a murderous cat(not mine) who uses our garden as a hunting ground for hapless pigeons. Not a one of them can cook (the cat pererring its pigeon meat tartare). Luckily, my friends can and one brought over Ryan’s key lime pie last week. Maybe something was lost in translation because I cannot quite see why Mary Berry was rapsodizing over it…..


    • Emily Heath says:

      I’ve never had a key lime pie before, not sure if I’d like it or not. Mary and Paul said that pie was one of the best things ever baked on that show, which makes me curious to try it!


  7. Alex Jones says:

    I have come across the ivy flowers mentioned and they have been alive with bees.


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