Monday 13 February 2012

We no longer have an apiary at the Unitarian Church

Twice the top bar hive at the Unitarian Church has been interfered with.
Twice bars, with comb, have been strewn across the floor.
The 2nd time this happened was in minus temperatures with snow all around.
To leave them, even with a padlock around the hive, we felt, would be too much of a risk to take; as well as an unnecessary one.
A new site was found
Less than a mile away
3 miles for 3 weeks, as is the normal rule, was not considered necessary for a hive move at this time of year. Both our local Bee Inspector and members of the Halifax Beekeeping Association (some with more than 30 years of experience) said:
move them now, straight to the new site; now whilst it is cold and before the queen starts laying.
So that’s what did, on a bitterly cold and icy Saturday morning.

Moving a TBH is more than a one-person job
We were 6
Chipping in together – as we always do

while some cleared the new site in readyness
others removed  the securing pins
and strapped down the lid
carrying the bee hive through the icy grave yard

in the van
and off to the new site
a hillside site
with a retaining wall
some 5 feet tall

the wall  overcome
the hillside was next

but all worth it

final adjustments

the bees in their new site
with views of heartshead pike

a smashing spot
south facing
and lots of forage – even now. Gorse blooming just a few feet away.

job done
marion listens in
still buzzing
let’s hope the trauma’s they’ve had
matter not in the long run
and that they’ll pull through into spring
and beyond

we returned to the warm
beetroot soup and parsnip cake - thanks Judy

Friday 10 February 2012

More training

Beekeeping for Beginners
The next training course is for those new to beekeeping. It will run over three Saturdays in March - 10th, 17th and 24th - at the New Oddfellows Hall in Todmorden, with a final practical session on Sunday 25th at Towneley Hall (weather permitting).

The course will be delibered by David Rayner - beekeeper at Towneley Hall and is free to residents in the Todmorden area.

If you would like to book a place send us an email NOW!

Natural Bee Products

The third course in the programme will look at Natural Bee Products (food ‘n’ health) – the processing and use of honey, propolis and pollen. It will be delivered by Beecredible's own Marilyn Browne – dates and details to be confirmed so watch this space.

An inspiring afternoon

A  Warré hive.

David demonstrating how to wax the top bars.

David in action!
David's combination of inspiration and ingenious practicality sent us all out into the snow keen to get into the world of the Warré hive and, with funds from the Jubilee People's award, we have already ordered eight of them.  Roll on Spring!

Warre hive training by David Heaf

We had a very successful training day with David Heaf and a good turn out despite the dreadful weather.

David brought a Warre hive and other equipment and explained the theory and the practise of using Warre hives as a sustainable and bee friendly way of keeping bees.

David has written a book on the subject of bee friendly bee keeping which is detailed and finely indexed. This is available from Northern Bee Books.

David translated Abbé Warré's book Beekeeping for All and has made it available as a free pdf download. 

He talked about his own modifications and the simplicity of construction which makes this type of hive very accessible and affordable for all.