Words and photos by Barry Chignell, R&B Honey
Lacey Green is perfect for beekeeping – with clean air and an abundance of open spaces filled with a wide variety of wild flowers and fauna. I’ve always been interested in beekeeping but never had the time or space to keep any hives. After a number of long conversations over a pint and lots of research, my neighbour Rob and I decided to invest in two hives. This was in May this year. Our initial plan was the carry on researching apiculture before sourcing our first swarm of bees. This didn’t go quite as expected as very shortly after purchasing the hives we were offered our first swarm which had been rescued from a nearby garden.
Since then we have watched this swarm grow significantly and a second swarm take up residence in the second hive. We check the hives and bees to ensure they’re in good shape and free of disease and also that the bees have enough food.
After only 3 months (and 3 stings!) we’ve been able to extract enough honey to fill over 30 jars. This came as a great surprise as we’re only expecting enough honey to fill about 6 jars! All the honey has already been snapped up!
Our plan is to purchase more hives and source land to place them on. With such lovely countryside surrounding Lacey Green it shouldn’t be a problem to find willing volunteers to allow us to use their land for our hives. In return they get their gardens pollinated and some free honey! Hopefully next year we’ll have much more honey. It is our hope the we’ll be able to sell it through local outlets and already have offers from some which is great!
The whole beekeeping process has been captivating and fascinating. Learning how the bees behave, what to watch for and how to end up with jars of pure honey has been very rewarding.
‘Hives’ – Our hives are currently located in Lacey Green. We will soon be expanding and adding locations throughout the Chiltern Hills. This is largely due to the generosity of local farmers and land owners!