Autumn has come to the apiary. Crisp dry leaves litter the floor. Some flowers are still around – purple michaelmas daisies, ivy and the last of the himalayan balsam along canal banks. The bees come and go, but no longer in the same numbers or with the urgency they had earlier in the season. They are winding down, preparing for the long retreat.
I took Tommy for his first visit to the apiary. He seemed to enjoy the attention of being the youngest beekeeper there, even if he couldn’t join in with the cake testing. He was asleep when I first got to the apiary but woke up just as I started topping up the feeders with syrup, so no time for further beekeeping! Luckily big Tom was able to transfer our smallest colony into a poly nuc for winter. I have never overwintered a nuc so fingers crossed.
We had a triple whammy of sweet treats this week – Clare’s chocolate and banana bread, Jones’s lemon honey cake and my chocolate biscuits. Plus tea of course.
Jonesy was testing his lemon honey cake for the National Honey Show at the end of October. The recipe it has to be made to is on the National Honey Show website (class 85). Most of us thought the cake was very nice, moist and light, though not everyone agreed and he did also get some feedback that it was too dry! Does anyone have any tips for winning the cake class? I quite fancy making the honey fruit cake recipe.
Here’s a little bee climbing up inside a lily.