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Essex Honey Blog Page

E S S E X - H O N E Y

Discover Essex local honey direct from the Beekeeper

Pair of queen cells ready for new queens to emerge

amazing photo of Queen Cells in Beehive
image©robertclare 2019

Found many queen cells today when inspecting colonies. These two cells will have new queen bees in them and will emerge very soon. The new queen will take over from the old queen and continue on in the hive producing new bees. The old queen has already left in a swarm taking about 60% of the bees with her to set up a new home. First queen out will kill all other queens that emerge after her. After a few days the new queen will go on mating flights and if all goes well will start laying eggs for the continuation of the colony.

Oil Seed Rape Fields

Phoro of spring oil Seed Rape crop in Copford Essex
image © Robert Clare 2019

Oil Seed Rape has appeared in the fields around Copford near to my bee hives this spring time. There has been an absence of this field crop over the last few years around here. I am looking forward to collecting some OSR honey from the bees later in the year.

Hazel catkins vital food for bees in early springtime

photo of spring catkins from Hazel tree
image © Robert Clare 2019

The above picture is of a hazel tree (Corylus avellana) covered in catkins just behind some of my hives. The pollen from the catkins provides protein for the bees to use to feed the new larva and bees in the hive. Hazel catkins along with other early spring flowers like crocus and snowdrops are vital pollen resources for the bees. Please plant some in your garden.

Interesting fact:
Bees find it difficult to collect hazel pollen and can only gather it in small loads. This is because the wind pollinated hazel has a pollen that is not sticky and actually repels one grain against another.

photo of spring snowdrops in wood pile
image © Robert Clare 2019 Pitts Wood Snowdrops Copford Essex

Moving Bees in Winter

On these colder winter days it is a good time to move bees . The bees are not flying and are clustering tightly together in the hive to keep themselves and the queen warm. If you seal the entrance up and strap the hive together securely you can move anytime during the day. There will not be any flying bees out so they will not fly back to an empty space where the hive was. During the warmer days of spring and summer the bees are usually moved early morning or after they have stopped flying in the evening. When moving bees in winter you have make sure you do not break up the cluster by rough handling. On the next flying day the bees in the re-sited hive will need to re-orient themselves when they leave the unsealed hive. To assist this, leaves or branches are put in front of the entrance so the bees notice something different when they go out. If the hive was not moved far enough away ( 3 miles ) from the original site some bees may return to their original home. If moved a smaller distance the bees may cross old flight lines and return to old hive site. A beekeeper can leave a box at the original site to collect up any returning bees and then re-home them. If bees do return to the original site (summer or spring time) and find their home gone they can go to another hive in the apiary. They are usually let in by the guard bees especially if they are bringing in nectar or pollen. There might be the odd scuffle though !

The old beekeeping adage is to move bees a distance of under 3 feet or 3 miles.

Moving bees during the summer is another story.

fir branches in front of beehive entrance

Benefits of lighting pure beeswax candles

Para-therapeutic and relaxing attributes of beeswax candles have been known for hundreds of years. They used to be used for liturgical rites and also for providing light to rich households.

They have an original and attractive look; they burn smokeless whilst producing a soft, gentle scent of honey and propolis, they also work as negative ionisers.

They eliminate electromagnetic radiation caused by electrical appliances and neutralize cigarette smoke.

Beeswax candles, and their process of burning in particular, soothes and calms you down, makes breathing easier, heals blocked sinuses and provides relief for running nose and asthma and even reduces high blood pressure. It is recommended to burn candles every day from 15 to 60 minutes.

Beeswax, the material the candles are made of is obtained from old wax and debris that are left out during the frame uncapping during honey extraction.

After melting and filtering it can be refined by adding various essential or fragrance oils, although it is not necessary.

photo of pure beeswax bee candles