It’s been a funny old summer weather-wise, and the bees have behaved accordingly. With a cool and blustery early summer, the bees were late getting started but then, toward the end of May a warm spell really got them going. We were able to harvest and jar up 20lb of honey, all quickly sold at the Spring Open Allotments Day in early June to raise funds for the new communal shed.

The picture above shows a near-perfect frame of honey taken from the National hive in late May 2016 – just a few cells remain uncapped with beeswax. This means the honey was ripe and at the right consistency and water content for the bees to feel happy enough to ‘capp’ off the honey cells and just right for us too.

Over the summer months we have improved the screening near the communal shed. Further, Paul Honigman, of the Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping Group, added a second Top Bar Hive. Every colony helps to increase our national population of honey bees, and with our 3 hives, SACAA is doing it’s bit to increase the number of pollinators.

On the 10th September, Paul will be taking members of his Group to inspect the apiary, further fueling the interest for low-intervention beekeeping in our area.

If you are interested in keeping bees in our area, contact Anna, check out the Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping Group or go to the Oxfordshire Beekeeper Association website for more information.