COMMUNITY SMALLHOLDING BEES
It would be lovely to have bees on the smallholding. Both for the crops and also for honey.
We have been battling with the fields here as they were single cropped and not properly sown so we have poor pasture. There is a lot of buttercup so we were pressed to spray the field. We have dug our heels in about this and we don't want to spray as it is bad for bees. So we will need to use the pigs to clear the field. But, we are keeping chemical free. There is an article in Home Farmer about the EU trying to limit crop spraying. We may have to find other methods but we will not spray
We have a "barefoot beehive" which needs renovating. it has never been used and stood up at the other place for years. It is pretty much complete but some bits could do with replacing.
Here is some information about a Top Bar Beehive (Barefoot Beekeeping)
We will need to look into it as I think that bees swarm in March so March might be the best time to get a swarm. We can have more than one hive but membership fees need to come in first to be able to buy one. If a member can build one then we would be happy to provide the wood etc.
We will also have to get beekeeping equipment. I have a couple of books on the subject and these will be available to any members who are interested in keeping bees.
It may be possible to keep a bee hive in the Living History Area if there is interest. It would have to be an "in keeping" hive.
Polish, candles, skin creams and lip salves. We have the books so we could make things from the beeswax to sell at Farmers Markets. Members who take part in the making of these could have candles and produce. If this goes ahead it will likely be one of the sideline produce which brings funds for the Holding and helps to pay for Members' Membership Fees.
It all takes interest and enthusiasm. If YOU want to make it work, it will.
There is a good article in Home Farmer Issue 116 Page 36
We have the book The Barefoot Beekeeper by P J Chandler
A simple, sustainable approach to small-scale beekeeping using top bar hives
There is a good article in Country Smallholding, June 2017 about bees. It is written by the owner of the New Quay Honey Farm.
If there is an interest we could always organise a Day Out to New Quay in the Spring and a visit to the Honey Farm to take a look at their exhibition and to see what they do there. It isn't that far away. They also do bee keeping courses. It would be helpful if at least one Member has done a course.
Home Farmer Issue 111 Page 58 Pollination