Farm & Field Volume 1: Beekeeping at Daylesford
Nature continues to inspire us everyday, and at the farm and there is always something new to discover or look out for. In the last few months alone we have watched rescue swans bed in by the river, we’ve seen the swallows arrive, bees swarm, wildflowers grow, meadows appear and our wetlands come alive again with insects and creatures of every kind. With so much going on, we asked our resident Environmental Scientist Tim Field to begin a new blog series titled ‘Farm and Field’ so that we can share updates with you all on the nature that is constantly unfolding around us.
As part of this series, we hope to encourage children and adults of every age to connect with the outdoors so that we can work together to protect our fragile ecosystem and every creature within it. Visit our events page for more ways to get involved. For now though, let’s turn to the bees as Tim explains more about what they have been up to over the previous weeks:
With the unseasonably dry spring and plenty of sunshine we have been reaping the benefits of some busy bee activity at Daylesford.
May was all about swarm catching, building up the hives and making sure the bees were thriving; now June has arrived we are fortunate to be cropping the first of the season’s bounty.
Traditionally Daylesford is a later harvest as we don’t have fields of oil seed rape as an early nectar source; whereas our plentiful clover, sainfoin and blackberry flowers all come along in summer. However this year has been exceptional for the dry, sunny days allowing welcome flying time. The cold nights haven’t been a problem as the bees just cluster together to keep warm.
As well as the wildflower meadows, there has been plenty of spring nectar and pollen from the trees such as field maple, lime, blackthorn and holly. We have taken 80 frames of honey from the first crop, from which we shall extract the honey and return to the hives in time for our main flowering season. The Daylesford estate honey will now be extracted, cut and bottled and available at the end of the summer, a real treat worth the wait.
To find out more and to see the swarming bees in action, visit the Agricology website here for further updates from Tim and his team, or alternatively watch our film below.