Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Where does this bit go?

OK, perhaps we had not chosen the best possible day to put the hive together!  The streaky blotches on the picture are actually the hailstones driving down into the mud.  And it looked so sunny as we set out with the boot full of hive-parts and a spirit of adventure in our hearts!

Undaunted by the ominous rainclouds fast heading towards the FarmShare site, four of us unloaded everything and got to work.  Even though we didn't have the instructions at first, Erik knew which way was up and we got the main frame put together before the rain hit.

Retreating into the safety of the polytunnel, we sat amongst the tomatoes and aubergine plants and carried on while the hail bounced off the plastic skin above us, deafening us with its roar.

Despite all this noise and distraction, I completed my first ever frame!

The bees will use this honeycombed wax surface to build up the cells in which they'll store the honey.  Making frames is a fantastic job because the wax smells so wonderful and it was hours before the scent of beeswax finally disappeared from my hands.

Sadly, because of the heavy rain, we weren't able to leave the unfinished hive in situ, so I've brought it home to put some waterproofing linseed oil on the outside surfaces before we return it to Postwick.

Once it's waterproofed and the rest of the frames are complete, it'll all be ready for bees to call it home!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Starting to move

Things are now really starting to shape up for the Norwich Community Bee scheme.  On Saturday some of us went to the Norwich Farmshare open day, met up with Laura and the rest of the guys and had a good look round. We found the proposed site for the hives and it looked great to us; let's hope the bees agree!  Marco had some great ideas for wildflower borders around the farm office which could provide some colour and "bee-snacks" - providing that it fits in with the overall farm planning needs, of course.

Thanks to Darren at Beechwood Bees , we now have enough kit to start us off - we're really excited about this!  We are planning to meet up again next Saturday (18th June) at the farm and install the hive.  Do contact us if you'd like to come along and help.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

First Meeting

A group of excited bee enthusiasts got together on 26th May 2011 for the first meeting of the Norwich Community Bees initiative.

At the Spring Scheming in March this year, one of the ideas that came out was the idea of a community-led beekeeping initiative. I'd been very impressed by the Bungay Community Bees scheme and thought it would be fantastic if we could do something similar in Norwich. The well-publicised decline in bee populations in the UK has concerned a lot of people and there was a lot of enthusiasm in the room to take this idea further. I offered to start the ball rolling and began to contact people in Transition Norwich and beyond.

The people at Norwich Farmshare were keen to support us, and offered a space on the Postwick site to get us started, as well as putting us in touch with a local experienced beekeeper. The group has now started pulling together the plans to make it all happen. We now have 18 members, including a number of qualified and part-qualified beekeepers. It's been fantastic to see how much energy and enthusiasm there's been so far, and I'm really excited about the future of the scheme.

If you'd like to be a part of Norwich Community Bees, or would like to know more, contact Jon at jaysaulcurran@hotmail.com.