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.

The hive behind me at the woodland apiary is known as a golden hive. The bees make natural comb within it, it's a new addition this year (thanks to some crowd funding). Our golden hive has been designed by the BeeKind company. It's a less intrusive form of beekeeping and does not involve taking much honey from the bee's. 
That's wild comb on the frame above being held by John the Beekeeper a dear friend of 86 years old. He is a conventional beekeeper and has so much experience. Having elders support is integral part of the Bee Potion collective. 
A super frame (wooden with a comb of artificial comb wax printed) is different from a brood frame where the queen lays her eggs. This is a deep brood frame from the brood box. I like to give my girls as much room as possible. This hive is in the garden with a hazel fence surrounding it which means that the bees flight path is up and over our heads.
Our educational apiary is a key part of understanding ourselves and the world.


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.