We are all so proud of their achievement.
Our Junior Certificate children received their certificates & badges from the BBKA today...
We are all so proud of their achievement.
Today's session was sadly the last one for this group.
They have covered everything from 'What is a bee?' to learning all about the life cycle of our bees. The children have been wonderful, engaged and it has been wonderful to see all the work they have done at home to compliment their studies at school. They all received their certificates to celebrate completing the course and we are looking forward to welcoming them back in the Spring to start the practical work in the hives. Well done everyone!
A super session for our first Bee Team.
This week was 'Wax week' looking at how the bees make wax, what they use it for and how we use this incredibly useful substance. The children were fascinated by how wax was used in history, and we used wax to create our own wax seals for 'secret letters'. Everyone made their own rolled candle to take home, we had a whole class of professional candle makers!
We love the Bee Team!!
What a great Bee Club today, together we studied how our bees make honey including all the science that goes into this fascinating process. Concentration, evaporation and enzymes galore, the children were 'surprised' to learn how the bees 'regurgitate' nectar into each others mouths to add enzymes to the nectar collected from flowers... resulting in the honey we recognise. Simon did a superb job 'fanning' the honey to reduce the water content in our experiments, (he got very tired arms flapping!!)
Everyone enjoyed tasting 5 different honey samples and voting on their favourite.... Of course Heron Hill honey came out top! Science tastes good we discovered!
One of our Qualified young beekeepers, Mason, made the most of the unusually good weather to make 'probably' the last full inspection of our colonies before they are closed down for the winter.
At this time of the year we check our colonies to make sure they are 'Queen right' that means they have a viable queen who is laying and will get the colony through the winter. We also check that the Varroa counts are under control... the hives are weather proof and most importantly, the bees have enough stores to get them through until spring.
Out of our 6 colonies, 4 were all good, heavy with stores, queens happy and all looking set for the Cumbrian winter....
Two however are a little worrying... One colony has decided not to store anything for the winter... not even the syrup we have been feeding. We have insulated the colony, put on a HUGE slab of fondant and strapped them down... all we can do is hope for the best and keep checking the weight through the winter...
The other cause for concern is Hive 2... previously one of our happiest colonies! Mason couldn't find a queen or brood... a bit worrying.... Hopefully she is in there somewhere, just not laying due to the Varroa treatment, so we are giving her the benefit of the doubt and will check again in a week...
If Hive 2 does turn out to be 'Queenless' we will have to unite the colony with another if they are to have any hope of making it through... Cross your fingers everyone!
Really proud in school we have so many talented young beekeepers to look after and care for our bees.
Great afternoon yesterday as Crossthwaite school Bee Team came to visit Heron Hill.
The two teams worked brilliantly together, learning all about preparing our school hives for winter. We all had a go at 'Hefting' our hives, which means lifting one side to estimate the weight of stores the bees have available through the winter. The children had to use their muscles to lift the hives as they weighed over 20kg! We looked at preparing the 'fondant' which we will use to feed the bees in case they need extra food in the months to come.
Lovely to see the two groups chatting about bees together... future of beekeeping is looking bright with all these enthusiastic young people!
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