A turbulent, but rewarding year in beekeeping

2018 wasn’t the easiest year for beekeeping, especially when it’s only our second year as beekeepers!

With an exceptionally long winter and storm Emma battering the UK, we learnt how very quickly just how polar beekeeping can be! We lost one colony, and another was left weakened.

Coupled with the loss of a colony, 2018 saw lower than usual (but not unexpected) honey yields. Although a long hot summer was great for us humans, it dried the ground out to such an extent that the flowers and fauna loved by bees were less abundant than usual, meaning lower honey production.

That said, the honey that was produced was amazingly sweet and fragrant! We still can’t produce enough honey to fill demand (which is a very nice problem to have)!

It turns out that Lacey Green inhabitants are honey maniacs! We’d sold out of honey before we’d even put it in jars!

As well as the honey itself, we also experimented with different honey products. These included brownies, gummy bears (a particular favourite of chef at the Black Horse!), cookies, honey roasted nuts and even biltong.

This year we hope to have greater quantities of honey, after purchasing additional hives. The mild winter (to date) is also a good sign that the bees will get off to a flying start (pun intended) in the spring!

2018 was also the year we moved our hives to a neighbouring village (still well within the Chilterns) as part of a mutually beneficial agreement with another food producer.

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As local food producers, we were also invited to the Chiltern Food Magazine anniversary party and BBQ. This was a great opportunity for us to meet many like-minded people including Blue Tin Roof, Chiltern Escargot and many others. There are so many great food producers on our doorstep!

2019 will see the launch a very exciting and rewarding project called ‘RB & Me’. This will enable Chiltern residents and businesses the opportunity to sponsor a hive (or 2), get involved in the honey production and benefit in several other ways. If you would like to learn more about RB & Me or reserve a jar of honey from the 2019 batches, then please get in touch via the website (rb-honey.com) or our Instagram account (@rb._honey).

Here’s to a great 2019!

 

Cheers

 

Barry (the ‘B’ in RB)