shopify site analytics
Bees | 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

Green Desert for Bees in Essex

Agricultural Tractor sowing Wheat
Image©Robert Clare 2015 Black-headed gulls following tractor sowing wheat

Keeping bees in Essex

Living opposite a field and keeping bees it is always nice to know what crop is being sown.
This year it is wheat. So my bees are going to have to fly further and use up more energy to find suitable nectar and pollen sources. Lack of forage for bees in the countryside is a problem. The lack of wildflowers is not helping the situation either. In past years the main flowering bee friendly crops around Copford have been Oil Seed Rape, Borage, and some Mustard. I hope the bees can find some ! Did you know it takes about 556 worker bees to produce 1 pound of raw honey from about 2 million flowers. You can help by planting some bee friendly plants in your garden.


Essex Honey Bees Spring Start

Eseex Honey Bee Hives Spring
image © Robert Clare 2015
Great to see lots of early spring activity in a couple of my commercial beehives. There is lots of pollen coming in from crocus and tree catkins with plenty of bees foraging.The bees are queuing up to get in. Looks like the bees have wintered well and are off to a good start. It is a bit early in the year for a full inspection but things are looking good. All my hives are doing well lets hope it continues.