A new year and new preparations for the bees and their hives.
Today we were cleaning, sanding and repainting old bee hives to hopefully bring our hives from 2 to 6 working hives.
We had a visit from our most experienced member of the team, George, who we playfully call The Bee Master as he has more experience in raising bee hives than all of us put together. George supervised our labours to make sure we were doing a good job.
Following our advertisement in the autumn for new bee keepers at Craigie Educational Environment Project (CEEP) at Craigie Farm, we are pleased to introduce to you, not the ‘A Team’ but the new ‘Bee Team’. Paul our most experienced bee keeper(second left) will mentor Blain, (left) and Gaye and Richard (right) to build our hives from the existing 2 hives to 6 by the summer of 2018. Other members of our team is George and Willie who are our neighbouring bee keepers and mentors, and in the coming months will oversee our progress and of course without Graham Clarkson, CEEP Chair all this would not be possible.
This is now the winter time and the bees are less active outside but inside the hive they are busy concentrating on feeding themselves and keeping the hive queen warm. For them to do this, we need to go and give them a helping hand by feeding the bees a ‘Fondant’ which is a sugary paste and adding warm blankets to the hives to help keep the queen and bees warm.
During the winter months the Bee Team will make new honey frames, called ‘foundation frames’ these are the base of which the bees will make either into new honeycombs for the new bee hives or cells for growing new worker bees.
Wintertime is about the preparation of making 4 new bee hives for new bee colonies to settle into and to do this we will need to make 11 frames in the brood box per hive ( the place where the queen lays eggs to create new bees) and 11 frames for each of the honey super boxes, the place where the honey will be made and stored by the bees.
Please keep following us, the Bee Team with our progress through the coming months as we prepare a safe apiary for you to come and visit from early summer 2018.