September is considered the start of a new year for the bees. The colony has reduced in size from 60,000 to 5000. The worker bees up until November can still forage for pollen and a little nectar from ivy flowers.
The drones (male bees) if they did not die heroically in a mating flight with a virgin queen in the summer months will now be kicked out of the hive. What is left are the newborn winter bees that will live for 6 months. Their aim is to keep the queen and each other warm and to eat their honey stores for their survival. The queen (who will lay eggs during the winter months) is spiralled by her daughters keeping the nest at the consistent temperature of 36 degrees. Then in February with the first signs of snow drops their queen will start laying eggs, again reading for colony expansion for spring/summer. Each cell of the honey comb is tended too.
A few frames of our Hastings Hive Honey
Photo by @Stevepainter
We love our bees and purposely collect only small amounts of honey, ensuring the bees have enough supplies to maintain colony health. The honey we take is as pure as can be; the colonies aren’t fed sugar to get bigger harvests and it is not heat treated which means that the pollen remains and the honey keeps its amazing medicinal qualities. Fortunately for our bees there is no agricultural crop farming in a 3-mile radius from where the bees forage, keeping the honey as pure as possible for our potions. This also means that the honey we use in our potions is the best quality for your skin too.
Sadly so many beehives are treated with antibiotics and chemical treatments, as are our food crops. We are, like many so sad that we are all part of this chain that is negatively effecting every living thing. This photo below shows the beeswax from a frame from our Golden hive. As we do not treat our bees with chemicals, the wax they produce is free from toxins. The 'capping's' are the thin layer of wax that the bees use to seal the honey. It is the purest, softest wax that is used in our Bee Pure Moisturiser.