It’s tricky to stay positive at the moment whilst Coronavirus stalks the world.

But the bees are out and flying. The oil seed rape has just started flowering and with the warm(ish) sunny days, they seem to be enjoying themselves after the confines of winter. We are focusing on getting all of ourequipment in working order. This week we have fixed a really badly damaged honey super from last season. A few veneer tacks later and its as good as new. It then had a good scrape down to remove all the propolis and will soon be fitted with 10 frame castellated spacers, so the bees can store even more honey. As the oil seed is in flower we have added a super to each hive to allow the colony room to expand as some of them are on 8 frames in the brood box already. Giving them a super will allow them room for the queen to keep laying in the brood box, whilst the female workers move as much honey as they can up to the honey super. Some colonies still have packs of fondant in place (as a cover emergency measure) which hopefully means that they have enough stores during the cold days. We really need the weather to warm up so that they can get out and start working the forage and build up good numbers to really make the most of 2020 when coronavirus is behind us. We can then sit back, enjoy the sunshine and think about spending a bit more time outside. Maybe even get a bbq lit.

bees flying into hive
Wishing you all well. An hopefully we will get to be free like the bees soon. We are not accepting orders on the webshop or purchase at the door until the lockdown ends. As soon as it does you may continue purchasing from our secure webshop

On Saturday 20th August 2016 James Curtis of Wildwing Honey was delighted to be asked to appear on Channel 5’s morning show called (funnily enough) ‘The Saturday Show’. Here he writes about the big day out from the apiary.

It was an early morning start getting out of bed at 4am having loaded the car up the night before with a display hive, frames of honey, a plastic tabletop extractor, jars of honey, bee suits and other items of cornucopia (including breakfast to have on-route). The journey to the studios in west London was a breeze at that time of the morning with the added excitement of venturing through some of the best sightseeing spots in London minus the tourists. Passing along Embankement, up through Trafalgar Square, along The Mall up to Buckingham Palace and dropping shortly after into the not so glamorous underbelly of the shopping center at the top of which was the studio. After being helped by someone from the studios team up in the lift with all the gear we made it for 6:30am for our dry run rehearsal. This wasn’t with Gaby or any of the other celebrities and involved me being shuffled around from position to position whilst they worked out the best angles. This only took five minutes or so. I met Gaby Roslin briefly before being plonked back into the green room where I met one of the other guests. He was a very good air guitarist.

After a bit of preparation of my kit I was ready to go. Now on my third coffee the caffeine was starting to kick in. After a quick trip to makeup to be painted with what felt like emulsion (although it made my face tone look incredibly even and was applied with great skill) the show went live. It was a bit weird watching a show on the tv in the green room that you can hear echoing down the corridor from the studio the next door. After sitting around a bit more I was sent for. During the ad break we had to set up all of the set – fake grass, plants, extractor, hive and all the other bits before the show went live again. All done in time I was placed in front of a looming black camera on wheels and told to wait for the red light. Ping. On came the light and I was off. The rest was a bit of a blur but really great fun. Unfortunately the catch up show has been removed from the Channel 5 on demand website (they remove it when the following weeks show has been recorded), so you cant watch my performance again. But here is a screenshot from sky plus to prove I was there!

Wildwing Honey on Channel 5

The journey back from London wasn’t so easy. Traffic was monstrous by then but it was worth the trip. Hopefully I will be back on TV soon!

If we had a pound for every time someone said to us “Wasps are such a pest” and “What’s the point in wasps?”

This always arises in the summer when they buzz around your ice cream, or can of pop.

Wasps are part of a wider family of insects called Vespidae. The group comprises of over 500 diverse species of both social (nest includes queen, workers and drones) and solitary wasps. They all build fantastically intricate nests by chewing up wood, breaking it into fibres and forming it into a form of wasp paper which is both structural and insulative. Everything that they produce be it brood, nectar, or insect parts are housed inside the paper cocoon.

Hornets and wasps are carnivorous and predate other insects. They are excellent biodynamic pest controllers, consuming large amounts of caterpillars and aphids for example. This means you have to use less pesticides to keep them under control. They form vital pest control services. Lets also not forget that they also make great pollinators, doing a great amount of work pollinating plants and flowers of every kind. If you love figs then you have to praise the wasps uses. Without the fig wasp you wouldnt have either dried or fresh types as they require this specific wasp to pollinate the flowers to make the fruit come true.

One of the reasons why they often get a bad reputation happens during the summer. Once most of its food source has finished their reproductive cycle and are dwindling in numbers then wasps get hungry. Their food sources have gone and they need to ensure the continuing success of the nests established during the year. This is when they go on the scrounge and look for other ways to sustain themselves. They find the nearest sticky substance – be it fizzy drink or a nice piece of cake and thats when they wont leave you alone. This is generally when you get stung whilst trying to swat them off your ice cream.

 

EDIT THIS

Stinging Wasps Are Beneficial Insects, Too

Paper wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets all belong to the same family, the Vespidae. These social wasps share the ability toconstruct their nests of wood fibers, which are carefully chewed into pulp by the wasps and molded into paper.

Hornets and paper wasps prey on other insects, and help keep pest insect populations under control. Paper wasps carry caterpillars and leaf beetle larvae back to their nests to feed their growing young. Hornets provision their nests with all manner of live insects to sate the appetites of their developing larvae. It takes a lot of bugs to feed a hungry brood. Both hornets and paper wasps provide vital pest control services.

 

This we appreciate may not have changed your mind and fascination of wasps. So for those still unconvinced here are some stunning photos of these beneficial insects (from around the world) which will hopefully change your mind.

We made it onto the BBC Essex Dave Monk show again yesterday.

If you missed it well its good news! You can hear us again below (sampled to just the feature to make it easy for you). We were commenting on a swarm that was unfortunately destroyed that had try to set up home on a house in a newly built development (built on previous fields and farmland) in north Chelmsford.

You will find the snippet below.

If you do have a swarm please contact our swarm co-ordinator at Chelmsford Beekeepers

 

The Meadows

We are running a pop up stall in the Meadows this coming weekend.

We will be selling our honey and talking honey bees from our stall just outside Wilkinsons and BB Muffins. Lots of interesting things to see. We will be showing off a queen and a worker bee, you can hear and see inside an immersive beehive, try on a bee suit and taste the best tasting local honey ever!

If you ever wondered whats its like to be a beekeeper, near a beehive or just love honey then this is a great opportunity to get involved.

Come and see us and we will be delighted to answer any of your questions. We love being kept on our toes!

We will be open from 8am till 6pm on Saturday and 9:30 to 16:30 on Sunday.

CLICK AND COLLECT You can order online through our website in advance and collect from us on the day

http://www.themeadows.co.uk/

 

 

 

DUE TO EU REGULATIONS THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED.

We received a complaint from Essex County Council, that our post did not match Article 7 of EC Regulation 1169/2011 in relation to misleading statements about hayfever and honey. We have never suggested that our honey ‘cures’ or treats hayfever. We have no evidence to suggest this is even possible and have never told anyone that we claim that it does.


 

 

So the beekeeping season has begun. Our colonies have been managed at the start of this year to produce new queens to give to new beekeepers. We take off the newly formed queen cells and place them in Nucleus hives (a smaller box containing 5 or six frames of drawn wax comb) so the new queen can emerge, get mated, then hopefully go on to head a healthy brand new full size colony.

The old queen is shook swarmed into a new brood box where she can continue laying and raising new bees with some of her previous workers and drones. This allows the bees to continue to bring in lots of nectar and pollen for the success of the colony whilst negating the urge to swarm, leading to happier and stronger bees.

A newly made nucleus hive

A newly made nucleus hive

In July we have been selected to join Tiptree Jam Factory & Museum, Maldon Sea Salt, KellyBronze Turkeys at ‘The Best Of Essex 2016’ event hosted by Sub-Zero and Wolf in their Maldon showroom. Truly honored to be featured with these producer giants. We are super excited!

We will be doing honey tasting throughout the afternoon, giving out honey tasters to all the VIPs, we will be bringing our observation hive and also setting up our digital simulation hive to give guests an idea of what it sounds and looks like at the hive itself. Bruce the chef will also be cooking with some of our honey throughout the afternoon.

Details are available below. We hope to see some of our fantastic customers there

 

Best-of-Essex-2016

Wildwing Honey have just started making wedding favours using our local Essex Honey crop from the spring. We have done this on the back of being asked by two friends Jenny and Shaun from New Zealand if we could do some honey in little jars for their ceremony at the wedding venue Ever After in Grenofen, Dorset. We were of course happy to oblige and they went down a storm. We even got some of our own honey back which was extra special. Each jar was topped with its own bow of twine and decorated with a beautiful blue label to contrast with the light golden colour of our honey. The labels were designed by Just My Type

If you would like to place an order, or discuss your requirements for your big day then please either visit our SHOP or send an email to us via our CONTACT US page.

 

Honey wedding favours

Honey wedding favours ©Just My Type