The latest addition at Low Sizergh Farm is our pair of bee hives – each housing up to 40,000 bees. Not only will our new beekeeping endeavour allow local beekeeper, Dick Towler, to help us produce our very own delicious honey, but the bees are now part of our holistic approach on the farm. These amazing creatures are helping us to balance food production with environmental considerations.
Insects are a vital part of the ecosystem and our new bees will help improve the farm’s environment. They pollinate crops such as apples and soft fruits and also help to preserve ecological balance and natural biodiversity. They really are busy bees.
Dick Towler’s expertise will see our bees produce up to 30lbs of honey from each hive. The bees will collect nectar between April and October but their main season is May to July and honey can be harvested from the hives from around the end of July.
The honey making process is truly fascinating. A special fork removes the caps on the honeycomb, revealing the sticky honey beneath. Frames are then placed in a spinner (with arm power coming in handy to get it going). The centrifugal force pushes the honey out of the comb and it runs in a deliciously gloopy fashion through the tap ready for filtering and bottling. The empty frames are returned to the hives where the bees will tut over the mess, tidy the honeycomb up and refill it. The end product – delicious real honey.
Keep an eye on our farm shop shelves for some of our very own honey, produced in our orchard hives here at Low Sizergh Barn. Bee happy.