Friday, 9 November 2012

Buzzed off.

After an absence from posting for a while I read Me and my shadow's husbands post about cold water swimming (rather him than me!!). Missie Lizzie extends an invitation to give free reign to the 'other half' and suggest he guest blogs on his obsession hobby. 

Tonight I have offered the same opportunity to Mr Thrift Bee to which he asked 'Can i write anything i want?' my reply of 'within reason' was met with instant grumblings about freedom of speech, censorship and wishing to be truly free to express himself.  

So,  instead I will take this opportunity to publish a collection of photos that have been a draft post for a couple of months. Taken throughout the summer of  my old mans hobby......Beekeeping.

We have seven hives in our garden. Two of them are on the roof of his shed.

As he is a carpenter by trade, he is able to make all his own hives. Which he does on an ongoing basis.

Which is more shocking the love of my life in a  space suit and marigolds or the large swarm of bees on a branch which he brought to the window to show me???!!!!

There are, of course, wonderful rewards. Little Bee is mighty knowledgeable about the life of a bee colony and how honey is produced. She is holding a frame of capped honeycomb. 

And here, on  my scorched kitchen table is another frame full of honey.

The two active cells have baby bees in them, they are in the process of cutting themselves out.

A fairly crude way of extracting the honey from the frame with a spoon.
(We needed a jar to enter into our local agricultural show and as usual had left it until the last minute)

Strain out the wax and........

Runny honey.(and a pretty sticky kitchen and a six year old rushing on a natural sugar overload)

Heather honey.

The clear honey was produced before the heather flowers in August. After that the honey produced when the bees forage on the heather is much stronger and gloopier (and more difficult to extract)

This was the result from the few frames he scraped.  I have to admit it is one of our most precious home produced harvests. Like a full log pile, a cupboard full of honey is extremely comforting.

I posted about the show he entered our honey in here.


  1. Wow. I'm reading this upstairs as OH is reading the same post downstairs. He's just shouted upstairs "BEEKEEPING!! How F***ing cool is that???"

    I have to agree, although I think i'd be terrified.

    1. Really nothing to be scared of. The hives are about 30 feet from our front door and I have never been stung. Little Bee was stung once when she knelt on one, that was pretty traumatic for her. But generally they keep to themselves.

      Mr Thrift Bee gets stung regularly, but i'm convinced he sort of enjoys it now, badge of honour or something.

  2. great photos, though not sure about all the bees hanging from a branch there......


  3. I think bee keeping is a wonderful thing! Great photos, and the honey looks delicious.
    Did you know that all bees have names beginning with B? That's what my Littlest says anyway, and who am I to argue? xxx

    1. I had no idea. (How cute) Will send Little Bee off to interview a couple of thousand of them tomorrow.

  4. I absolutely love honey, it's one of my most favouratist things, and I'm convinced it's very good for the skin. I might go and have some on some white bread now actually.

  5. OOOOOHHHH. This is really wonderful. There are bee hives in a field not far from where we live and on a warm day we can smell the honey as we drive by with the windows open in car. Oh sweet little Bee. What a wonderful life she has!

  6. What a fantastic hobby! I've just got a recipe for beeswax and honey lipbalm and am hoping to cadge some from the beekeeper at the community gardens. Honey on toast is one of the best things about winter-but made with your own wee stockpile-awesome! So glad to see you backontheblog xxx

  7. Great post! Thanks for sharing your wonderful beekeeping photos. How interesting about the Heather. Oh, and your honey has my mouth watering. :-)

  8. My brain just hears Eddie Izzards beekeepers at work sketch! 'covered in bees!'. Fascinating and productive hobby- I couldn't do it tho!

  9. That is just the coolest thing. Do the bees stay outside all year 'round?

  10. Hi thriftbee. :)
    Now I know why you call yourself Thriftbee. You certainly have a very successful colony. Your little bee is so very beautiful too TB :) Your husband loves his hobby and isn't super to have such an interest. Your honey looks delicious. Its something that I am considering in the future and will eventually get a hive one of these days. Fab pictures too.


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