Sweet treats for the bees and sweet treats for me
The tricky thing about being a new beekeeper is that there are so many varying opinions about what you should be doing at any one time in the beekeeping year. Spring is a crucial time in that the bees are flying out but there may not be many flowers yet out for them to forage so they are at risk of starving. So, the recommendation, now that it's warmer, is to give the bees sugar syrup (1 part water to 1 part white sugar). So, I concocted this sweet treat for the bees at lunchtime and took it out for them. It was another glorious spring day and if the weather stays like this, I may actually have a quick look inside the hive over the weekend.
I took off the Beehaus' roof and replaced the fondant, which they had munched most of, with the contact feeder. Essentially you fill the feeder all the way to the top with syrup and then turn it over on top of the hole in the cover board. The bees then can sip the syrup through the gauze.
It's also important for the bees to have a source of water near the hive as they need it to make honey. As I don't have a pond I fashioned a drinking hole out of old, broken planters. Great to see the bees using it.
Right next to the beehive is this bush (don't ask me what it is) but the bees seem to like it. I also spotted a fat bumble bee landing on the flowers.
If you've been following my blog, you've probably guessed by now that I'm rather addicted to honey. I start the day with a teaspoon of raw honey and end it with honey in warm milk, so any opportunity to cook with it I jump at. So, when I spotted this recipe for honey nut banana muffins I knew I had to make it.
The recipe begins with boiling the honey and chopped walnuts together. That's like heaven in a pan for me.
If only I could post a 'smellogram' with this photo as the wafts filling the house were just gorgeous.
I decided to undo the virtuousness of these low fat muffins by smearing them in a honey and cinnamon butter icing. Everything in moderation :)