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Bees at the BBC Television Centre

Bees at the BBC Television Centre

After months of planning, we finally managed to place 3 colonies on top of the BBC Television Centre in Shepherds Bush.   As construction was going on till late summer, we didn't manage to have bees up for the whole season so didn't get any honey as we left all the stores for them to use over the winter months. We moved the 3 colonies up to the rooftops in Polystyrene nuc boxes and gave them some time to settle   As soon as we opened up the doors, the bees were eager to get out and straight to work....

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Beeswax and Lip Balm

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Beeswax and Lip Balm

Our bees are great at producing honey, but they are also experts at building honey comb during the spring and summer when there is ample nectar available.  Once the honey is ripe enough, the bees seal it all in the honey comb, and as we harvest the excess honey, we are left with lots of wax from the cappings of the comb.   We process these capping by rendering them down and filtering them into clean beeswax. So what is the wax used for?  Well, apart from the usual candles / polishes, did you know that many cosmetics contain beeswax...

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Honey Harvest and Extraction

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Honey Harvest and Extraction

The July nectar flow seems to be in full swing, and to ensure we can keep the distinctive flavours of our spring / summer honey, we started extracting a couple of the bigger hives.  It’s good practice as we can give back the comb to the bees which they can re-fill without having to rebuild comb from scratch. I removed the supers from the hives at around 2PM on one of the hottest days of the year and found that there were not a huge number of bees up in the supers so opted to just brush off any bees...

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During the Swarming Process

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During the Swarming Process

During the swarming process - Most of the time we see pictures of swarms hanging on trees, it’s a lot of bees in one place and kind of scary looking:   However, most of the time we don’t really see what it looks like just before the bees settle into the clustre on the tree or just after they have decided to move on. I’t probably a lot more scary looking and most likely more intimidating than a relatively calm cluster of bees on a tree.  Unfortunately for a friend of mine who had missed the weekly hive inspection, his colony decided...

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July Nectar Flow

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July Nectar Flow

July Nectar Flow – It seems like the main nectar flow has started.  A week ago the hives seemed to be going through the dreaded ‘June gap’ and had consumed a bit of their spring stores.  As I went down to the apiary to do the weekly inspections, I was very much surprised by how much honey the bees had managed to collect since my last visit about a week ago.  A couple of the hives have already filled up 3 supers and it looks like they have a long way still to go.  The huge number of lime trees...

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