I am Gerald Bushby (pronounced bush bee!) a beekeeper in Weston on the Green, a small village in Oxfordshire. I am going to be writing a monthly blog about the bees in my apiary. I hope you will find it interesting. I should start by saying that I am not an expert, having only kept bees for three years. Anything I say is my own personal opinion; I accept that there may often be other views and opinions.
Honey bees are amazing insects. The longer I keep them, the more fascinating I find them. I often say to people that calling myself a beekeeper is a bit of a misnomer. Bees have been on the planet for millions of years and know perfectly well how to keep themselves; I am merely a keeper of bees. We have a symbiotic relationship, I provide them with comfortable accommodation and they “share” some of their honey with me.
As I tell you about what is happening with my bees from month to month I will be explaining about various aspects of beekeeping.
I have three hives located in my garden, so I am able to keep a close eye on their day to day activities. Bee activity is cyclical. They do not hibernate but little outward activity in winter builds to a peak of activity in the summer months before reducing for the next winter. Bee activity is very flower and nectar dependent, which in turn is very weather dependent.
We have now reached June, known to beekeepers as the June gap. Spring flowers have finished and we are waiting for the summer flowers to start. Winter was mild this year and all of my three colonies survived and expanded rapidly with the onset of a very warm early spring and an explosion of spring flowers. I am now waiting for the bees to finish capping off the frames containing the honey they have produced before I harvest the first honey crop of the year. Honey is usually extracted twice a year, once after the spring flow and then again after the summer flow in August / September.
I am a proud supporter of the ‘Bees for development’ charity, my love of the bee drew me to this wonderful UK based charity and the great work they do around the world with Bees and the impact they can have on people’s lives. Please help me support this wonderful organisation, as 2BScientific will be doing with donations to this hard-working charity.
Next time : The first honey harvest of the year.