Posts Tagged ‘Kent’

Winnie-the-Pooh and some Bees


Its been quite a while since I added anything to this blog but not because I’ve given up on the bees, life just gets in the way sometimes and as ever I have been very busy down at the apiary looking after all the ladies and through swarm control I am now up to 7 hives this year… intending to combine a few before the autumn and aim to over winter with a maximum of 4, we’ll see how that goes…

Recently my daughter took part in her schools ‘extreme reading challenge’ where children are encouraged to be photographed reading a book in an ‘extreme’ location. Many children take part in the challenge and produce some outstanding photos, we decided to head down to the apiary and use the hives…

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Firstly my daughter calmed the bees with a little smoke…

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then she introduced Winnie-the-Pooh to some Bees

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finally we were ready to take our ‘extreme reading’ photo…

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So here it is, what do you think? Was this worth the effort? Reading Winnie-the-Pooh and some Bees to the bees at the apiary. I think most of them enjoyed it but unfortunately one objected to the story and decided to sting her through the suit… this led to a few tears but a quick recovery and a return to the hives was rewarded with some honey filled brace comb which seemed to completely erase any memory of the sting… mind you who doesn’t like fresh honey?

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I thought that I would also take the opportunity to get a review on this years honey from an expert (she’s been eating it from the hive since she was a toddler!) and here is what she had to say….

I hope you enjoy sharing my beekeeping journey with me, please feel free to comment or share.

I can also be found at @danieljmarsh on twitter or British Beekeepers page on Facebook if you would like to get in contact.

Honey for sale….


We have reached that time in the year when the majority of apiary tasks are complete and the bees are beginning to reduce their flying hours, except on hot days when you will still find them clustering on the outside of the hive, and our thoughts turn towards the the autumn, mending,  cleaning and storing equipment and studying to understand our bees more.

The honey crop was removed and extracted in August and has now been filtered and is all jarred and labelled ready for sale…

If you don’t normally buy local raw honey consider it, supporting your local beekeepers in turn helps the bees in your area and they pollinate a lot more than your garden flowers!

There are lots of health benefits associated with raw honey as well as having a fantastic and unique taste!

Supporting your local beekeeper will allow them to maintain a number of healthy colonies in your area as well as training the next generation of bee guardians for the future!


Please get in contact with me if you are local to Tunbridge Wells and would like to buy some of this year’s honey crop via the comments below or on twitter @danieljmarsh 

Down at the apiary – June 2016


I haven’t been that active with the blog this year but the bees have more than made up for my lack of activity.

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Back in December we took the chainsaws into the woods on the land where the apiary is located and cut a new clearing, then moved the bees during the only short cold spell we experienced and it even snowed on the day of the move which at least kept the girls in the hives! Hopefully this will now be a place that they can stay for the next few years surrounded by flowering trees, wild flower meadows,  hedgerows and an RSPB nature reserve which is being returned to heather and gorse.

The warm winter didn’t really see an end to the bees flying and being active in the hives. I treated with oxalic acid at the end of December once we had moved the hives then started to feed bee candy which I do every year as a form of insurance. When I checked the hives in February all was fine but at the next check in March I saw that one colony had died from isolation starvation despite having candy sitting on the frames right above them. This is the second time that I have experienced this in 7 years of beekeeping but it still brings great sadness when you open a hive to find it dead inside with the last bees left head first in the cells trying to find food.

The four remaining colonies expanded fast and two were ready to be artificially swarmed by early May. I carried out the splits easily enough as this is a routine operation in any beekeepers year but subsequent checks saw both swarmed colonies rapidly establish themselves , drawing out new comb only to swarm again leaving new queen cells behind a few weeks later.

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I’ve also been joined by a new helper this year as my 6 great old daughter expressed an interest in coming to see the bees. We were able to buy her a small lightweight suit from ‘Simon the beekeeper’ online which should give her a few years use and she has been helping out every since. To be honest I expected her to be a bit afraid when she first met the ladies but she has shown no fear and just wants to get stuck in despite being covered in bees most of the time…
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Today we have been checking on the swarm hives together to make sure that the new queens have hatched, had successful mating flights and are producing new workers. We found a few and marked them as we went…
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We then checked on the hives that seem to have passed through May without threat of swarming only to find that they have been busy making preparations in the last few days so once again we quickly split the hives and will wait to see what comes over the next few weeks.
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I hope you enjoy sharing my beekeeping journey with me, please feel free to comment or share.

I can also be found at @danieljmarsh on twitter or British Beekeepers page on Facebook.

HONEY FOR SALE!!!!!


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It’s that time of year when I have finally extracted the honey from the hives and it is now ready for sale. The bees are located just outside Tunbridge Wells and I have a very limited amount that was taken off the hives at the beginning of August this year.

This is local honey and it is not the same as ‘supermarket’ honey, it has not been superheated and forced through ultra-fine filters nor blended with honey from multiple sources or indeed countries and it does not contain any sugar syrups. It is 100% natural honey from bees that forage in the countryside on the Kent and Sussex borders.

It has been manually extracted and naturally filtered under gravity but retains some of the fine particles of wax and pollen which give it the aromatic and health qualities that honey is famed for.

It costs £4.50 a jar, please let me know if you would some asap and if you are able to either collect from me in Highbrooms, near Tunbridge Wells, or to make another arrangement for collection.

I can be contacted at: danieljmarsh@gmail.com  or via twitter @danieljmarsh