We’ve all been a bit in love with bees around here, ever since we met Tim Malfroy. Actually I liked bees before that, but Tim got us seriously hooked.
We’re now aiming to create a truly fabulous Warré apiary at Milkwood Farm that can showcase small-farm natural beekeeping at its best. And produce many buckets of organic, ethical honey. Yum.
So Tim came to Milkwood last week and spent some time with our interns to help them design the new Milkwood apiary…
We’ve been talking about this re-design for a while, but now it’s time to get cracking. Following Tim’s visit, the interns have taken this design project and run with it: busy bees humming as they research, design, consider, discuss, implement.
As part of Tim’s visit, he also gave the bees a quick check, even though it wasn’t the best of weather to do it. And guess what? They’ve wintered well! We were quite unsure how they would go, given everything that happened last year with the wet season, new colonies, combining hives and so on.
Tim was pleased to see two empty supercedure cells, where the colony had successfully reared and hatched two new queens. This is a great sign, and the colony looks very strong and ready for a big season of foraging. I am so proud!
So now, following up from our first season, we’re ready to make this apiary truly rock. At the Mudgee Field Days last year, Tim sketched these ideas:
And now, following a forage assessment, the interns are now hard at work designing the new apiary based on Milkwood Farm’s needs and parameters.
We need an apiary that is well sited, safe for the bees and also appropriate for our Natural Beekeeping courses, so that everyone can learn in a safe and accessible space. Lots to think about.
Below is portions of the interns design brainstorm – what the bees need, what we need, what needs to be considered, project goals…