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Posts tagged ‘comb’

The Sawh Dynasty

The Sawh Dynasty. Maff spotted the sign, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, Barbados: "Sawh's Bee Hiving Enterprise - we specialize in bee hive removal. 100% pure Honey. 100% pure Bajan." It was to lead to quite an adventure.

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In the Apiary : Mid-May : An Inspector Calls…

At 5.31pm precisely the doorbell rang. It was the Seasonal Bee Inspector for the South London, Brian McCallum. This was my first visit from an inspector. Or, as I like to look at it, the first time I have been offered a free beekeeping lesson from Her Majesty's Government.

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Honeycomb Box

Lucky me! My Easter present from Sarah was a gleaming art deco Minton Solano honeycomb box. It's so vintage that it makes me feel young. And our Bermondsey Street honeycomb fits perfectly inside! As I said, lucky me!

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Bees And Water

Water is essential for life. Surprising then, that bees don't store water. Despite their advanced social structures and their ability to stockpile and preserve honey, pollen and propolis in their hives, bees cannot store water. They share this inability with the rest of the animal kingdom. Like fire and wind, water is an element over which only we human beings can exert control. More or less. And for better or worse.

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Frame Of Mind

The first thing you need to know about beekeeping is that it is not glamorous. Let’s face it there’s no “Strictly Come Beekeeping”, no “Ready, Steady, Beekeep” nor even “The Z-Factor” on TV. And there’s a reason for that.

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Propolis

What is Propolis ? If you cast your mind back to springtime and touching the sticky brown outers of horse chestnut buds, then you have an idea of the adhesive properties of propolis. You also have a clue as to its muddy khaki hue and to its arboreal origins. What you cannot imagine, though, is the pervasive, gloopy, gunkiness of propolis. It is not a uniform, clean-cut precision stickiness like sellotape. It’s more like melted chocolate at a five-year-old’s birthday party; the pancaked slap on a pantomime dame; a mastic gun in the hands of a Sunday DIYer after a pub lunch.

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Greater Honeyguide

In sub-Saharan Africa, the Greater Honeyguide makes a persistent, repetitive call only to humans in an extraordinary co-operative act between human honey-hunters and bird.

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@piary

So how about a new, al fresco, roof-top, female collective atelier on Bermondsey Street ? Cool ! Let's call it @piary.

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In The Apiary : Late September : Mishaps

The catalogue of woe in my Suffolk apiary last weekend was bigger and wider than Argos's Christmas edition. So I binned it and started again. I'm going to call last weekend's events "mishaps". Not misadventures and not disasters. Not yet.

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Honeyfacturing

Honeyfacturing is a 3-day job which takes twelve whole months to complete. That's because the simple secret to great honey is rearing healthy bees - and that is an all-year-round project. In my book, that makes the gestation period for a jar of honey 25% longer than that for a human child.

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