The Old Beekeeper

Hello and welcome.

I was collecting a swarm, in mid June 2018, and one of the people watching, a very nice gentleman originally from India, asked me if I sold my honey. I said I did but I didn't have any on me at the time. He then asked me if I had a website. I said I didn't, well I didn't at the time..

I've been keeping bees since 2009 and have 4 sites or Apiaries and have at any one time between 10 and 30 colonies divided between hives and nucleus boxes.

I run Langstroth format colonies, named after the late 19th Century beekeeper, Lorenzo Langstroth,who first produced a box based on the earlier work of Johann Dzierzon who identified what is commonly called "Bee Space", the gap that bee naturally space their combs apart, and François Huber who invented the first movable frames. Currently all my full size hives are Western Red Cedar, but I would like to move to high density polystyrene, as it has significant thermal advantages, which significantly benefit the bees both in the cold of winter and the heat of summer.

I'm based in Bracknell in Berkshire and am a BBKA (British Beekeeping Association)Registered Swarm Collector

Buy Local Honey and Wax

The exact amount of honey I have at any given time is generally a function of last years season. It is also a function of how productive each of my 4 apiaries was.
This means that I can have 4 distinct honies available as I generally extract and store by apiary (2 in Eversly, 1 in Bracknell, and 1 at Blacknest Gate)
The type of honey, set or runny, I have also depends on the time of year, how much each apiary produced in the previous year, and what the predominant forage in the area was (see below).

Honey in the hive is natuarally runny, although certain types of nectar, which the bees turn into honey by evaporating the water content, will set rapidly if the temperature in the hive drops - such as in winter. Nectars which exhibit this behaviour are Oil Seed Rape, Blackberry, Sweet Chestnut, and Ivy.

In the first few years I was bee keeping, one of my apiaries was near a source of Oil Seed Rape but this has not been the case since about 2015, and any Ivy nectar they collect is theirs for the winter.

Of the 4 appiaries, my Bracknell apiary predominately produces sweet chestnut honey, and the honey production in the other 3 is very variable, meaning that some years I have predominately naturally fast setting honey and other years I have predominately runny honey.

Note that 'set' or 'crystalized' honey can be liquidfied by Heat Treating. Heat treating honey requires care and a thermostatically controlled environment, and effectively replicates the environment in a "honey super" on a hot day. The honey, usually in either jars or buckets, is placed in a thermostatically heated cabinet at 40oC for 48 hours. This changes it's molecular structure (breaks the crystal bonds) and it becomes liquid - at least for a while.
Note: Honey bees keep the brood nest at approx 36.9C although it can go upto 38C on a hot day in summer. The "honey" supers are always above the brood nest and they don't specifically regulate the temperature in the supers, so on a hot summer day can reach in excess of 40C. To a degree the warmer the supers get the better from a bee's perspective, as it aids evaporation, which reduces the water content of the nectar helping to turn it into honey (there are a few other chemical processes involved excluding the removal of the water content), and in the process helps cool the hive.

The current price for Honey is £7 for a 1lb(454g) jar. I can deliver in a 1 mile radius of the Horse and Groom Public house, Bracknell, RG12 9RB, otherwise you'll need to collect. I do not post honey unless you want 10 or more jars and then you will be required to pay postage and packing (No Overseas shipments - Sorry). UPS is the only carrier who will carry honey and the P&P (2021 cost) is £19 for UK Mainland (Highlands and Islands will be more)- based on 10 jars supplied.
The current price for Beeswax is £1.00 per Oz or bulk £14.00 per lb pro rata. Cast bulk blocks are typically 20 to 40oz in weight

To Order Honey:- Email with a subject of "Honey Order"
To Order Beeswax:- Email with a subject of "Beeswax Order"

Buy Nucleus Colonies

As every beekeeper knows the reproductive cycle of the honey bee is to swarm. Now generally to the beekeeper this is a bad thing, for two reasons

  1. You lose half of your production capability for 4 weeks meaning you miss the main honey flow.

  2. In an urban environment they are a hazzard both because they take up residence in awkward places, and they frighten people not used to bees.

Beekeepers therefore attempt to manage this process via a mechanism of artificial swarming or splits.
Since I generally have between 10 and 16 "production" colonies I invariable have a number of splits or nucleus colonies every year that are surplus to requirements.
Since the majority of the UK does not run Langstroth format hives, 95% of the rest of the world does, I convert some of my splits into National format, either Std National or 14x12 (which is what 50% of my local BBKA Association uses).

On average, by late June, I will typically have 2 Langstroth, 1 Std National, and 1 14x12, 5 frame Nucleus colonies available for sale.

The current price for a5 frame nucleus is £100
To Order or check the availability of a Nucleus:- Email with a subject of "Nucleus Enquiry". Please state the format you are looking for.

Need Help with a Swarm? Click =====>> HERE> <<====