Posted by: hencorner | April 10, 2015

Buzzing Away…

image‘Life is the flower for which love is the honey’*
*Victor Hugo

Those who read our last post will know that we’ve recently been to Cornwall, staying in a lovely Safari Tent with Classic Glamping

Whilst we are living the country life in London, when we do venture out on a rural holiday, we love to see reminders of home; this time it was honey bees – everyday. Our hosts Erika and Mike have a couple of colonies in a new orchard that they have planted behind their house, then it was off to the Eden Project to discover these beautifully painted hives on top of the bank as you enter the project. ‘I wouldn’t like to harvest honey from up there, would you?’ said Andy as we looked up to the tall hives balanced on platforms. I must admit, whilst they are positioned well out of the way for the public, regular inspections may be a bit precarious. The Eden Project are partnering with others on the B4 project (Bringing Back Black Bees) working to promote the qualities of the native black honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera, to beekeepers across the south west peninsula encouraging them to use the Cornish strain and strengthen the local stock. Back home, one of our queens is pure black without a stripe, I wonder if her parents originate from the West Country?
 image
Our third bee encounter was on a day trip to Tintagel. As we walked along the main street towards the castle I noticed a small shop simply called Tingatel Honey, it was a delight to see a whole shop in prime position dedicated to the produce of predominately one bee keeper. The store was run by Katrina McTaggart, partner to bee keeper Grant McTaggart, and their delights included Creamed Honey, Cut Comb, Runny Honey and a beautifully fragranced Heather Honey. Katrina explained that they had to be careful in selecting which colonies to move to the heather each year as this is usually done at the end of summer after the main honey harvest and is therefore instead of the annual thymol treatment against the varroa mite. Some of their jars are displayed around the familiar red certificate confirming first prize at the regional honey show; it’s great to see a bee keeper successfully make a business out of the craft. When I explained that I was also a bee keeper, here in London, Katrina’s response was ‘Ooh, I’ve heard that London honey is really good.’ my reply was ‘We all think our own honey is delicious, don’t we?’

A day at Hencorner

Coming up at the Corner – 20% off all courses booked by end of April

If you’d like to visit us here in London, we have courses running right throughout the year. Next month brings Intro to Bee Keeping, Bread: Sweet and SavouryPerfect Pasta and a new course, A Day at Hen CornerWe have many more courses available, both in the garden and the kitchen, and the promotional code SPRING15 will give you 20% off all bookings before the end of April – Please pass it on!

Other News:

  • We had a fantastic time taking the chickens to the Horiman Museum and Gardens, we set up an enclosure on the hill over looking central London and could see the Shard from our high point
  • The new kitchen is starting to take shape, I can’t wait to christen the new Rangemaster
  • Easter Monday was a beautiful day to plant and sow in the Kitchen Garden, we now have potatoes, strawberries, carrots, onions and selections of brassicas and legumes all starting to grow in their snug new beds

Jobs for this week:

  • Follow up local schools as they return back after their Easter break, do you know a school that might like us to help them?
  • Cycle over to Kew Gardens to check on their honey bees
  • Design some sun shade sails to hang up in the conservatory, keeping our training area cool for our new season of courses

Have a good week yourself…Hen logo good

Join us on the Journey!

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