Monday, 21 March 2016

Insect Hotel update

Bees drinking from the water pots

Nosema Testing

More samples

Dissecting and preparing the samples

The boys examine samples using the divisional high powered microscope

Now deep in discussion

All microscopes out 

Zoe enjoying herself!

Great morning testing bees. 

17% have nosema - those suspected were confirmed as having a heavy load. 

Large pestle and mortar for grinding

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Essex Beekeepers' Conference 2016

Saturday 5 November 2016
9:30am - 4:30pm

Raising the Standards of Beekeeping Husbandry

Top bar hive installed

New top bar hive in situ.  

Bale garden also started - thanks to our Apiary Manager. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Honey for showing

Jim McNeill gave a useful presentation to sixteen members in showing honey. This not only applies to competition but also selling it to the public, particularly shops and similair retail outlets. 

Use of clean net curtains and food grade buckets a must in a Beekeepers armoury. 

The most important thing in showing is presentation

Labels can make a huge difference. 

Use landmarks locally to use on your label. 

Make sure labels are free of sticky fingers. 

And no dents in lids!!!

Check that all your jars are the same. Same style colour and size.  This is particularly important in classes that has more than one jar

Think about where your label is going. Don't put it in the seam. Put it so it looks good. This will also help with your selling.  Centre panel. Not off set. It stands out. 1/2 inch up. 

Read the competition rules. 

Only put Labels On that rules allows. All becomes anonymous. 

Tasting is the last thing a show judge will do. 

Use water baths to clear.  Get exhibits
At least a week before. 

Aroma is also taken into account. 

For colour grading glasses are used. (Thornes).  

Get yourself a torch. Look through your honey. This will expose debris that you don't want. 

Keep smoker out of honey in the super as soot can get into honey.  This will show up. 

Get Honey ready for show:

Put Through water bath (makes the honey sparkle and show off)
Open and
Skim off any scum. (Rotate glass
Jar and using spoon take out scum). Eat but
Don't put spoon back!  

Also paper towel (Plenty) is useful. Make sure there is no honey on the rim by using paper towel. 

Replace lids is okay however must
Be at Least three days before show otherwise there is no aroma.  

Consider polishing inside of jars. Start off clean!  

Viscosity. No control over this. 
Use refractometer to test water content.  Record this, the honey must be below 20%!  

Also record where honey comes from, the colour and it's viscosity. 

If honey very runny judges will use a refractometer. Any with 19-20% viscosity - get it sold quick.10 points for this. 

10 points for aroma. 

Taste is at the judges discretion. It's whatever the judge likes. 

Slightly overfill to allow skimming and do not weigh. No daylight between lid and honey.  

Pick jars up by the lids. Don't tip jars. 

Judges want to knock you out as quick as possible. 

Some classes 3 jars of different honey. 

With set honey honey IT MUST BE SET. Not just crystallised. 

Can transfer honey from one jar
To another using lids stuck together and looks like egg timer.   

Enter novice classes. 

Under 5 years beekeeping. 

Light medium and dark

Enter as many as possible. 

50p per entry. 

County Show in September

National Show in October 


Ring the Show Secretary if you need any help. 

Do it for fun. 

Enter early!  Please. Help the Show Secretary. 

Set honey - use a seed.  Ratio 1:4 seed to honey.  Don't  use dark honey to make a seed.  Put seed in cool/cold honey.   Stir and avoid bubbles. Keep stirring until it's a uniform colour.  Don't want it too running when it goes into the jar.  The higher the ratio the longer it will take to set. 

Labels for selling must be legally accurate and simple.   Make sure labels are waterproof.  Printing must be the right size! 

Don't sell honey too cheap. 

£7 a lb. 


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Beautiful handmade Nuc boxes for sale

Beautifully hand made

nuc boxes


Only £18
[discount on two or more]

Good quality and available now

Contact Keith Lomax for more information
and to order now - on 07882 132119