Adams Journey 

​​Adam has over come many difficulties and struggles in the past. During these darker times there was a glimmer of stripy hope. The bees. His interest was sparked by a couple where he found himself learning from a kind soul about bee keeping and courses which he could participate in. He became increasingly interested in the bees and felt he needed to learn more. His interest and passion for the bees grew and that helped him get to where he is today.

Debbie and Chris have taken him under their honey bee wings and are showing him the way. Now that he is part of the team his duties are to tend to all the bees needs. This includes; building hives, scorching/sterilizing the boxes and equipment ready for the season, opening the hives (YES, while the bees are in there) and checking their wellbeing and that at this time of year they have food.

In order for Adam to be qualified in this industry it was important that he took up their offer of starting on an apprenticeship with the Bee Farmers’ Association whilst working with Mr and Mrs “B”, starting with attending the first training week of the 3 year course to learn all things bee and bee farming. He was one of just five new apprentices starting this year and attended the first week last week. (The start of something big).  The first week was the first time they had met each other and felt that is was unBEElievably useful. 

​During the week he learnt many topics including the honey bee life cycle, botany, bee biology, first aid and health and safety. The course was a mix of classroom and practical learning.  After lunch each day they would go for a peruse of the grounds and apiary where they were challenged to identify buds on trees and flowers to enable them to understand the value of putting hives in locations where forage would be abundant the season to come.  They also opened hives on site and examined the queens and marked them with paint marker pens - bet you didn’t know you could do that!  The colour used to mark the queen would signify her age. (last years’ queens would be yellow).
     
​​Now that he has returned he is very much looking forward to the warmer weather (me too) and the chance to really immerse himself.
 
Coming Next:  Start of the Season.
    

Week 1


Getting Going...
​ 

   

Adam was trusted to use a flame thrower! This was to sterilise old bee boxes so that they could be re-used. The purpose of this is ensure the business maintains its sustainability. The boxes were also checked for any damages so that they could be repaired if necessary.
    
Chris and Adam also worked together to cut a door through to the dispatch room. This was a fairly time consuming job but once this task was completed Adam returned to building brood frames and clearing some floor space in the packing shed. 

    
By the end of the week Adam had moved ALOT of boxes to clear more space in preparation for the better weather and removed old, dirty wax from the frames before they are sterilized and re-used. 

Everything ran smoothly and they had a sucessful week!
    

Week 2

This week was spent sterilising frames. This is crucial as it allows the frames to be re-used and is far better than having to buy new frames every year. Once the frames were clean they were then placed into the boxes ready for the bees. Sterilising frames is such a time consuming job... but its something that has to 'bee' done so...

The weather has improved drastically and the bees are so happy!

Mrs B, Mr B and Adam opened up the beehives to check the seasonal development of the bees. Some colonies were fed and also gave other colonies more room for them to grow. Also all mouse guards were removed from the hives as this is only a seasonal precaution!

​Another postive week!

Week 3

The weather is still fab so Adam went on an adventure to the site at Secretts (shhh they stock our honey) but because it has taken so long for the warm weather to come it is only now that the bees are undergoing their Spring Inspection. Lets hope they beehived. During the inspection Adam looked for any signs of disease and marked the queens. 

Adam visited Pepper Pots Apiary also this week with Mrs B. Some of the hives were split up due to the colonies being so strong, which is fantastic news as the bees are slowly recovering after their losses over the wet and miserable winter.

The lucky bees also got to enjoy having their hives spring cleaned, it is that time of year afterall!


Week 4

With the weather constantly improving the colonies may be thinking about swarming. So, the current priority is to manage this. The trick is to notice the key bee behaviours shown prior to swarming. Adam has been learning what to look for and how to prevent this from happening and ensuring that the bees continue to work. This is done by splitting the colonies and giving them more room before they swarm. Getting this right is essential. 

Good news is that the bees are recovering after their heavy losses over the winter!