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Bee diary

A successful 2014Photo: A Newsam

A great day for the girls; Molly, Annie & their bees!

Photo: A Newsam

Here’s an update as promised from Molly, our diarist for 2014. Following on from her success from last year’s Honey Show, this year she achieved two first prizes, two second prizes and one third at her local BKA in Cardiff. Her dumpy owl candles that she mentioned in the October edition of BKids came second! A great achievement as this is her first year of making candles. Last year her Light Honey came first in the Novice Class, and this year her bees produced another winner; first in the main Light Honey Class. She also won the Junior Class with her design for a honey label. Her mum, Annie, won the overall cup too!

Molly - One very happy prize winner

One very happy prize winner

molly-diary-header                 Hi everyone, my name is Molly and I live in South Wales on a mountain in the countryside. I will be sharing my beekeeping adventures with you this year.

October 2014

Hi everyone, Molly here again. This is my last column. I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone. I would like to round things up with an overview of the last few weeks. a good harvestThe beekeeping season for me is nearly over, but me and my mummy are working flat out on preparations for our Association’s Honey Show. As you can see we have had a bumper harvest of honey from our girls (bees). My girls’ honey is up against all the pros in our association this time, as I won the Novice Class last year. If I win anything, I will write in and let you all know. Fingers crossed…wish me luck! In school last week, my class led the assembly. The subject was the Jewish New Year. One of the Jewish traditions is apparently to dip slices of apple in honey. Guess who supplied the honey? Yep, my girls! I love being a beekeeper. So, this is it. Thank you for reading my diary each month. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing it and sharing my experiences with you. Now for my very last joke: Q. What’s the best part of a bee? A: Its knees! Byeee Molly x.

September 2014

Molly with the Stowmarket & District BKA

Molly with the Stowmarket & District BKA

Last month I have been so busy away on my holidays & preparing for my Association’s honey show. I had a fab holiday visiting my nanna in Suffolk. One day we visited Bacton Fayre and Flower Show which has been held in the Suffolk village for over a century. Here I met some lovely beekeepers from the Stowmarket and District BKA and looked at their honey show entries. I was really surprised that they knew who I was! They read Beecraft magazine, including our BKids pages and my column! I gained a few tips for my own honey show entries. Here is a photo of us.

My first owl candle

My first owl candle

Another thing I have been up to is finally having a go at candle making with my Mummy. We used an electric hot plate rather than our gas cooker to melt the wax, as this is much safer. We also used our brand new double boiler to melt the wax in. The candles were actually fairly easy to make once we had figured out how to put the wick in the mould securely. I am really chuffed with my first attempt of a dumpy owl. What do you guys think? Here is my joke for the month: Q: Why did the owl owl? A: Because the woodpecker would peck `er!

August 2014

Hi everyone, me again. My bees have been super busy this month making lots and lots of yummy honey. IMG_4233[1] I think 2014 is going to be a bumper harvest year for them. They are loving all this sunshine and the flowers still around, especially the buddleia and lavender. Also I am pleased to report to you that my bees have finally found the new wildflower borders we sowed earlier in the year. These flowers are specially chosen to attract bees, but up until now our girls showed no interest in them at all! My mummy and I have prepared a jar of honey for my Brown Owl from Brownies. I passed my hobbies badge that I did on beekeeping. I am having fun trying to make wax candles, but more about my attempts in next month’s diary! Finally, here is a joke to try out on your parents: Q: What did the mummy bee say to the baby bee? A: Bee-hive yourself!

July 2014

Hi everyone me again. My bees seem really happy this month. They have been making plenty of honey. No signs of swarming either. They love the lavender flowers in my garden.

Bees love my lavendar

Bees love my lavendar

I’ve been shopping this month with the £10 gift voucher I won last year in the honey show. I won it for my honey. Believe it or not my honey was the best out of all the novices in my association.I have bought two candle moulds to make beeswax candles. The first one is a dumpy owl it was so cute I couldn’t resist and I mostly bought it because I liked the name. The second one was a hexagonal mould with a bee on the top. I am going to make some candles to enter in the honey show later this year. Who knows they may even win me another prize! Last week I gave my Brownie pack a talk on bees and they loved it so much that they wanted to know how to join my beekeeper’s association. Kids rule OK! After the talk Brown Owl said that in her 25 years of Brownies, no one had done a hobby badge like mine. I was so happy! Finally, as I’ve not received any jokes from the BKids members yet, here is a joke from my Nanna Daisy who lives in Ipswich: Q: What’s a BKids favourite TV channel? A: See Bee Bee See! (CBBC)

June 2014

Hey it’s me again. For the last month I have dedicated my life to beekeeping. We have had a staggering 9 swarms or even more in our garden this month, which has kept us really busy.

Buzzy busy me, making frames

Buzzy busy me, making frames

I don’t know what it is about my garden, but they keep picking the same two trees to land on. I’ve had to make loads of frames for the new bees. Last week, I gave a year one class in my school a talk on bees. They were really fascinated with the bees and kept asking me loads of questions. For example, one little girl asked me what do bees feed on? I told her that they feed on the honey they make from nectar, and also pollen and water. Another question they asked was how many bees live in the hive? They were speechless when I told them that there were more than sixty thousand bees in the summer! A few days later I received a Thank You card which they had made themselves & had all signed, along with a box of “Maltesers”. Yummy! Here’s my joke for the month: Q: Why do bees have sticky hair? A: Because they use honey combs!

May 2014

Wow, I never expected this today. I wasn’t sure what to write in my column this month, but luckily for me the bees decided to help me!

The swarm in dad's tree

The swarm in dad’s tree

Well it all started when I was painting my tree house, and suddenly I saw a massive swarm of bees twice the size of a rugby ball in my daddy’s favourite purple-coned fir tree. They were very quiet and happy, hardly flying at all.Mummy, Daddy and I grabbed our beesuits and sprung into action like super heroes to the rescue. We managed to knock most of the swarm inside a skep but there were still loads of bees flying around the tree. Where was the queen? We waited to see if the bees preferred the skep or the tree.

We watched the bees march up the ramp

We watched the bees run up the ramp

Soon after the big excitement of a swarm in the tree our neighbours came round. They have just finished the beginners beekeeping course so we invited them to learn how to collect a swarm.The five of us watched the bees run up the ramp into their new hive. They were racing up it as fast as Usain Bolt! I hope they like their new home and decide to stay with us. I will keep you posted. Before I go, here is another joke: Q: What did the bee say to the other bee in the summer? A: Swarm here, isn’t it!

April 2014

Doing my first inspection of 2014

Doing my first inspection of 2014

I am pleased to say that my swarm from last year has made it through the winter. My first inspection this year was on 8th March, as it was a really warm sunny day. I tried to mark the queen, but unfortunately she hid from me and I didn’t find her. I did see her eggs though so I knew she was there. I also noticed that she needed more room to lay her eggs in, so I put a super on top of the brood box to make it a brood and a half. I also got to use my new hive tool that I got free from the BeeTradex Show last month.

Molly meeting the Bee Craft team at BeeTradex

Molly meeting the Bee Craft team at BeeTradex

BeeTradex was a really exciting show. There were so many different stalls there selling everything to do with beekeeping. I bought a candle mould in the shape of a dumpy owl. I plan to make some lovely candles with it and may even enter a candle into our honey show later in the year. Last weekend I went to the Welsh Beekeepers show with my mummy and a neighbour. We watched a demonstration on candle making which was really interesting.   Before I go here is a joke. Q: What type of bee can’t make up her mind? A: A maybee.     (Want to re-read Finn’s diary from 2013 – see the 4th page!)

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