A hot and balmy Friday evening in early June was the organised date to collect a bee colony from Steve’s apiary. Unfortunately it was a bit too sultry for the bees, who weren’t impressed at us peeking into their home, so we decided to try another day; nothing worse than being chased from Forest Town to Pleasley by angry bees trying to get to their queen in the car.
However, as we’d painted the second hive, we decided up install it without the bees, and take a peek at the “super” (“honey only” section of the hive – which we extract the honey from) in the one which survived the winter. What a surprise… Two weeks after putting the super in, with blank “foundation”, the bees had “drawn comb” (made the wax hexagon tubes to store honey in) on all the frames in there and were starting to “cap” (cover) over the honey by sealing it with white wax. Within the week we should be taking this for extraction and have some lovely jars of Pleasley Community Orchard honey!!! Nom nom!
Not only that, but the fruit and veg in the raised beds is starting to ripen. Strawberries, chives, onions and rhubarb are all pretty well ready, so feel free to come and harvest the produce when it’s ready. Just remember the ethos of the Orchard is to make two lots of cooked product and give one away to someone you don’t know yet!
We’ll have to be making up fruit cages to keep the birds off as those strawberries are just what they’ll be picking, before anyone else gets up in the morning. “The early bird nabs the strawbs!”