Lockdown Beekeeping

I have kept bees in Hankerton for many years but never a year with such a combination of conditions. After a very wet start to the year we then were confronted with the covid 19 lockdown in conjunction with glorious spring weather.

I said in my previous note that we were entering the swarming season for honey bees. I was not wrong during the period from mid May to date I have had 3 swarms pass over my house and received a number of calls from in the area saying they have a swarm. So far I am not aware that any have taken up residence in Hankerton parish.

I have kept bees in the parish for 30 years and over  the past 3 years dramatically reduced the number of hives I have here. Managing a large number of hives in an apiary requires a significant amount of time and effort to do the job properly during the summer months precluding long holidays which I enjoy.

With having unlimited free time and superb weather in which to manage, my bee colonies have developed quickly and have been prolific nectar gatherers (and pollinators). The result of which is a large volume of honey. Under normal circumstances I would supply all my honey to family and friends. With this years volume I have decided that I will supply honey directly from home and for a donation which hopefully I will continue to do. The honey is supplied in sterile 1lb/454gm jars and will be in our porch for collection call me on 577123.

Here in Hankerton In coping with the lockdown we have been very fortunate for a number of reasons. Particularly the speed of response from local residents to the challenge and to offer support services in many different ways. Also local businesses set to with creative ways to supply us with pizzas, a varied menu of preprepared meals, food boxes etc. After some weeks many people averse to online grocery shopping had cracked the ordering process and the trick of getting delivery slots. It has been a source of much amusement for me to be woken at 3am with a hoot of ‘I’ve got a slot I need your credit card’ .

Christine and I say thank you to all those concerned in keeping Hankerton and it’s residents safe well fed.

Brian Betts


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