A time in the beekeeping calendar has arrived recently for GlastonBees. It all started when taking 1 super filled with frames of Honey from Gwenyn Mêl 2 (the National hive).
After taking up the kind offer from a friend, I had the use of his honey extractor for the weekend to speed up the process of collecting honey. Gwenyn Mêl 2 (the national hive) have a brood chamber and a super to use for their colony development, so the other super filled with honey was considered excess by moi.
This year I have gone from 1 lovely colony of honey bees to 3 lovely colonies of honey bees. The 2 newer colonies arrived in June and August, and have yet to produce, what I deem the recommended amount of stores for them to survive through to the spring of 2014. So without any hesitation, the Honey that was just taken from Gwenyn Mêl will be stored and used to supplement the others as and when required.
This did baffle the minds of some people who were expecting to get honey from me as soon as some were available. Well the way I see it is this… These wonderful ladies have worked their little arses off at every available opportunity to make this Honey and it is the best possible food for them to feed on.
Why another person would take most of this honey from the lovely honey bees and replace it with a sugar syrup or ambrosia, is something which I struggle with. I understand that there is a potential financial gain to be made, but I believe that bees should only eat honey, and their own at that. They should only be provided an alternative such as sugar syrup if it is the last resort, as a matter of survival. The benefits of the bees must be prioritised before the benefit of the beekeeper.
So far there has been only 2 jars of honey taken from the heavily laden container. This wonderful Cwmbran honey tastes amazing, yes I may be biased but those who have tasted it have also agreed, that it tastes better than shop-bought honey.
For the time being the honey bees living in my hives will be closely watched to check on the amount of food stores that they have, with plenty of food in standby incase they need a help in hand.