The beekeeping season starts in March (weather permitting). The days are becoming longer, and the weather is hopefully getting warmer, but there is still a possibility of some cold snaps so keep an eye on the food stores. In warm weather bees will forage for pollen and nectar from spring flowering plants such as willows, hellebores and dandelions. The queen is starting to lay more eggs and the colony is growing.

This is the last chance for spring treatment with VarroMed before bees starts collecting a lot of nectar.

On a warm, ideally sunny day, I will check the National Bee Supplies apiary quickly for food stores. Make sure each beehive has a minimum 5-7kg (approx. 2-3 full British standard frames) of honey near the brood. Check for brood in the hive – make sure you do it very quickly, so it does not get chilled. Do not split the brood for any reason. Frames with pollen bread should be placed on the outside of the frames containing brood.

In case of low food stores in the colony I would recommend using liquid feed if the outside temperature is above 6⁰C and the colony is strong. For weak colonies ambrosia feed paste will be a better option. You can use either Ambrosia syrup or Apimix.

This is the perfect time to give your colony a boost with pollen supplements. Apipasta Plus or Candipolline Gold are ideal. Both are packed in 1kg containers ready to be opened and placed in the hive!

NEW IN: 14kg Jerry Can of Apimix Syrup!

Our First Monthly Competition!

We’re excited to announce our first monthly competition. To enter, all you need to do is answer our multiple choice beekeeping quiz question correctly. This month’s prize is…

Think you know the answer? Enter your ANSWER HERE and your contact details! All correct answers will enter our prize draw. Hurry – draw closes 27th March! 

Before you enter, please read the full terms and conditions. Good luck! 

Make Mother’s Day Special This Year

There’s still plenty of time to order a beautiful gift for your mum this Mother’s Day. We have some gorgeous new additions to our gift range, including bottles lights and decoupage bee coasters that have been handmade in Devon. Plus, a stunning blue everyday bag, purse and scarf. Shop our Mother’s Day collection and order by Tuesday 9th March to get them in time for Mother’s Day! 

Sometimes the best gifts are homemade! Bake your mum a cake this Mother’s Day, whether you’ll get to share it with her or you’ll leave it on her doorstep, we’re sure a tasty treat will put a smile on her face. Here is a simple recipe for a delicious Devonshire Honey Cake.

Devonshire Honey Cake!

Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 12 Slices

Ingredients

  • 250 g honey
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 300 g self-raising flour

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to fan 140C/ conventional 160C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm round loose bottomed cake tin. Cut the butter into pieces and drop into a medium pan with the honey and sugar. Melt slowly over a low heat. When the mixture looks quite liquid, increase the heat under the pan and boil for about one minute. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes, to prevent the eggs cooking when they are mixed in.
  • Beat the eggs into the melted honey mixture using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour in the egg and honey mixture, beating until you have a smooth, quite runny batter.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour until the cake is well-risen, golden brown and springs back when pressed. A skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
  • Turn the cake out on a wire rack. Warm 2 tbsp honey in a small pan and brush over the top of the cake to give a sticky glaze, then leave to cool. Keeps for 4-5 days wrapped, in an airtight tin.