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.
lovely photos – and thank you too for including Simba and my cake !
Have a lovely Christmas and fantastic New Year.
much love Clare
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 10:51:44 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
I couldn’t resist including Simba!
A lovely Christmas and New Year to you too x
Happy Christmas and the best of everything in the New Year to you and your bees!
And to you too 🙂
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Ah, you’ve pipped me to the post of my new year round-up! It’s a lovely look back Emily, here’s some more picture highlights of our best season with the bees this year: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152421096058383.1073741856.750843382&type=1&l=fdb8d10880
Great to look back through all the photos – with the possible exception of the wasps!
Thanks for a lovely review of the year. Do have a good holiday break.
Thanks Philip, and you too. I have enjoyed your blog enormously this year.
Thank you Emily for all your shared Beeland joys and sorrows and helping us to see things differently through compound eyes!.
Wishing you both a very happy first Christmas and New Year in your married life.
Rosy and I are coming up for 50 years together despite ‘there being several thousand of us in our marriage’!
Maybe the bees help!
Before I forget ,Philip Strange asked me about scientific evidence as to the effects of cumulative pesticide residues in the human body and the link below about DDE is interesting if it will open.
Thank you Jonathan and congratulations to you and Rosy – a great achievement. I feel sure the bees bring good luck and harmony to a home, as well as a certain stickiness.
The link is interesting, thanks. Makes me think I should eat more organic food.
I haven’t been able to get out much this year (literally and online) – 2 young children now!
You’ve had a great year. I think we’re getting better at this beekeeping.
I managed to find some time over Christmas to write about the Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida. As you know it’s likely to come here in the future. Something else to keep us up at night!
Have a great 2015.
Thanks Roger, yes I can imagine those wee two potential beekeepers are keeping you busy. I am just hoping that our cold weather keeps the beetle at bay, we have enough pests as it is!
A wonderful year! You will have to go some in 2015 to top it but I have a feeling you will already have plans ripening to do just that. Amelia
Thanks Amelia, I’m not sure about the plans but perhaps they will come to me soon!