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Minster Honey

Honey bee crafts and bee hive parts, naturally

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Welcome to Minster Honey, where I try to keep beekeeping natural.

As of Monday 10th of March 2014, I think I am going to surrender and give up keeping honey bees. The fields surrounding my beehives planted with oil seed rape are to many and to big for me and the bees to compete with. I have watched two hive die already just from wind drift rape plants from last year, the main crop has not flowered yet.

I find no pleasure in watching the bees collect poison to turn into honey they cannot eat then slowly die as a reward for all their effort. I, and the bees, say to the farmers…YOU WIN. 

I run Minster Honey as naturally as I can, mostly using top-bar hives, although I now have some National hives. It started out as a “there must be a better way” project but developed into a love of bees and bee crafts, thinking up different ways to improve life for honeybees in their hives and making the parts. I suppose that makes me a natural beekeeper.

I don’t aim in the blog pages to give you a blow-by-blow account of my beekeeping or life. The intention is to relate the interesting, amusing, tragic, success and failures of honey beekeeping; or would be the bees keeping of me be more accurate? Either way I hope you enjoy reading about what I do. I also hope you will enjoy some of the products of the bees, and my, labours.

As well as the obvious honey and honey & beeswax cosmetics and balms I sell, I go a bit further and I make all my top-bar (and National) hives and associated bits and bobs. I try making all of the beehive parts and I like finding ‘new’ and better? Or more economic, ways of doing things; I won’t mention the latest disasters but the latest good success is a new style open floor for a National (460X460mm) hive.

A new style open floor for a National (460X460mm) hive

open floor

The finished article is on the left. It works well and is for sale on the products page – hive parts. The first dozen or so efforts are now warming ‘The Bakers’ wood-burning oven, another trip into purgatory getting that thing going, remind me to tell you about it one day. The current design for the floor started out when an ex partner was still with me.

I also design and make garden trellis panels that are a bit more interesting than the squares, diamonds or oblongs found in the garden centre and a good bit cheaper than the joinery stuff found on the Internet.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Spring Bees

    Posted by Drone on March 20, 2014

    Spring Bees       After much thought and a long chat with Archie, the show goes on. I like the honey bees but I hate seeing them die for no other reasons but chemistry and money. At the weekend we moved some of the hives away from the worst of the poison but where […]

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  • Oil Seed Rape

    Posted by Drone on March 10, 2014

    I give up! As of Monday 10th of March 2014, I think I am going to surrender and give up keeping honey bees. The fields surrounding my beehives planted with oil seed rape are to many and to big for me and the bees to compete with. I have watched two hive die already just […]

    Read The Full Post
  • Winter Feeding: How I do it (part 2)

    Posted by Drone on November 17, 2013

    Winter feeding, how I do it. Part two. All this is according to what the autumn weather has thrown at me, this year the bees have been flying on most days, even yesterday 16/11/13 I saw yellow pollen coming in and we still have roses in bloom. We have had a few frosty nights but […]

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  • Winter feeding honey bees how I do it

    Posted by Drone on November 4, 2013

    Winter feeding honey bees how I do it It really is true, ask two beekeepers a question and you will get five answers, at least. There is no right way or wrong way to keep honey bees, think about what you want to do before doing anything then do what you consider will be best […]

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