We took a beekeeping course with and are members of the Epsom Beekeepers and successfully completed our BBKA Basics exams in 2017. We have three hives at the bottom of our garden.
The honeybee is the only bee to store surplus food. So long as there is a supply of nectar for them to forage and they have sufficient space in which to store it, the bees will continue to collect this and produce more and more honey. A colony (hive) needs about 30lbs of honey to survive the winter. Some beekeepers will extract every scrap of honey from a hive and feed the bees with sugar syrup instead. We will never do this! For us it’s all about the bees and our job is to protect and nurture them. We will only ever extract surplus honey that the bees don’t need, making absolutely sure that they have enough for their own needs first, so in some years (2018 being an example) we won’t take any honey from our bees.
Honey production varies from year to year and from one area to another. It is heavily influenced by the weather and the forage available in different areas. We have contact with a number of other similar-minded beekeepers and stock a limited quantity of a range of pure English honey from local producers straight from the hive and not processed in any way. Each honey looks and tastes different depending on which pollen and nectar the bees have been foraging on within a three mile radius from the hive.