Exclusive Advice with Beekeeper Kasper
In August forage for the bees is coming to an end in most parts of the country. If your bees are not collecting a honey from the heather then it is probably a good time to start preparing your hives for winter. (If they are collecting from heather, make sure to shop our heather honey press)
Start with taking the honey off. You can either use the brush to brush all the bees off from each frame or put on clearing boards with bee escapes a day or two before extracting the honey. Make sure the combs are capped by at least 2/3. If the honey is not capped leave it in the hive for a week or so for the bees to finish the job. Honey harvested too early might ferment in the jars which will be better to avoid.
Make sure there is enough honey left in the brood chamber for the colony to feed on. It should have a minimum of 5-7 kg per hive (2-3 full British standard frames).
After collecting all the honey from the hives in the apiary the next important thing to do will be treating your hives for varroa mites. At the National Bee Supplies apiary, I will use Apitraz which contains amitraz. This product is very easy to use. One packet contains 10 strips which will treat 5 hives (2 strips per hive). There are other treatments you might wish to use, including Apistan. I Would recommend to use different treatments every couple of years so the varroa do not build up a resistance.
Check the brood pattern in the hive. If the queen is old and the brood is patchy it might be a good idea to re-queen the colony so it has a good start next spring. Larvae should have a pearly white colour. There should be at least a frame of pollen in the hive.
At the National Bee Supplies apiary, by the middle of August when the honey flow stops I will start stimulation feeding all the hives to keep the queens laying a decent amount of eggs. Bees emerged from eggs laid by the end of July and In August will be the wintering bees. I will feed each hive about 1 l of syrup every 3-5 days.
Honey Recipes by Gill Meller
Chef and award-winning food writer Gill Meller shares his latest honey recipe! This is the perfect treat to share with friends or family on a summer’s afternoon.
Honey cake with coriander seed, spelt & orange
- 275g (9¾oz) butter
- 250g (9oz) golden caster sugar
- 4 tpsp runny honey
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
- 4 large eggs
- 150g (5½oz) spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 150g (5½oz) ground almonds
For the honey coriander syrup
- 4 tbsp t runny honey
- 2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
- juice of 1 orange
- Heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar, honey, orange zest and coriander seeds and beat thoroughly until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour with each and beating thoroughly before adding the next egg and spoon of flour.
- Combine the remaining flour with the baking powder and sift into the beaten butter, sugar and egg. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the flour and baking powder into the mixture, until combined. Stir in the almonds, and mix until evenly combined.
- Grease an 18cm (7in) springform cake tin, then line it with baking parchment. Spoon the mixture into the tin, spreading the cake batter evenly with the back of the spoon. Stand the tin on a baking sheet (the batter may leak a little during cooking) and bake the cake in the oven for about 50 minutes, until the sponge is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool slightly while you make the syrup. Combine all the syrup ingredients in a pan, whisk together and place over a medium–high heat, without stirring, for 4–5 minutes, until reduced. Without removing the cake from the tin, gently prick the surface with a toothpick, and drizzle over the syrup so that it soaks into the hot sponge. Leave the cake in the tin for a further 30 minutes or so, before removing from the tin and placing on to a wire rack to cool completely.
- The cake tastes best if you leave it for a day or two before eating, and it will store well for at least a week in an airtight tin.
WIN Our Large Stainless Steel Double Filter With Stand!
We’re very happy to say Ms Hart from Norwich, won our last monthly beekeeping competition!
Our next beekeeping quiz question is here, and this time you have a chance to win a prize worth £39.95!
All you need to do is answer via our survey, and all correct answers will be entered to a prize draw. The draw closes on Friday 27th August – Good Luck!
Before you enter, please read the full terms and conditions.