My hives ……. and me !

I am an experienced beekeeper, passionate about bees, believing in gentle, sustainable and organic bee management.  My bees come first – their health and their quality of life and then, their productivity:  honey, wax, propolis, pollen.  I started my journey in Norfolk and I knew my bees were destined for great things, when they featured in Farming Today on Radio 4.   Now, I split my time between Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, with stints in Kent and Devon in between.   And yes, my bees travelled with me –  it’s quite an exercise. 

My colonies are kept in WBCs, (named after the designer William Broughton Carr) the traditional looking hives that you would associate with beekeeping.   When I approach them, for one of the regular inspections, my heart lifts with the beauty of their shape and there is always a tinge of excitement at the opening of the first hive.  However, an hour in, and 10 hives later, I have to admit the excitement wanes and I wonder, with my aching back, how much longer it will take!

The reward for this hard, but joyful, work, is not only knowing that I am contributing to the eco balance in my area, but knowing that my bees have done me proud and produced award-winning honey, comb, fudge and mead in four counties.   

My range of balms has been formulated and researched over many years, using wax, propolis and honey from my hives, combined with organic oils, butters and essential oils.  All made by hand, in small batches. 

They are wonderfully concentrated and a little goes a long way.  Just rub a bumblebee size amount at a time, on the area being treated.  Rub in for as long as possible, however, it won’t take long because the balms are formulated with a selection of dry oils.  To remove any remnants on your hands, just rub your palms on any untreated part of your body, eg a forearm or a thigh, and voila, your hands will feel soft and non-greasy and you are ready to get on with your day!   I do not use any nut oils, to avoid possible conflict with allergies, but check ingredients if you are  unsure. 

The balms can be applied at any time of the day, as required, but are especially restorative when applied at night, which gives them plenty of time to soak in.  Little and often is best with balms – you’ll be amazed at the difference!


Archie with bees

June to October is show season – and I am happy to report that I picked up a trophy or two again in 2023 …   but I must say, it might be last, exhibiting is hard work, and last minute in my case, and I don’t think I can take the stress anymore!