Tag Archives: Bees

November Movie night – Queen of the Sun

Queen of the sun poster2

“QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.”
IMDB rating 7.1/10

Please RSVP via Eventbrite to help the kitchen know how many to expect.

As usual, the second Tuesday of the month – Tuesday 11th November

@The Stirling Arms Hotel, 117 James street, Guildford

6 pm onwards for food and drinks, 7 pm Movie starts

Entry by donation

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Bees 101

The latest meet of the Kitchen Gardener’s Society was all about keeping bees in the backyard. It was a lovely day, and more than one bee arrived to try to feed on the lovely cupcakes someone brought. For those that couldn’t make it, here’s a few tips I picked up from our bee keeper pro Peter Vedeniapine.

Why keep bees?

Honey of course! But they can also provide wax, pollen and more. Plus they’re vital for pollination. And it also looks rather satisfying.

What gear you need

  • a bee hive (8 or 10 frame, full or shallow depth, 2 boxes minimum). Peter’s advice was to buy a flatpack from Guilfoyle’s (contact below) and build it yourself ~$180. Apparently Bees prefer the wooden frames, plus avoids plastic! Wire queen excluder is better.
  • a smoker (can pick them up second-hand)
  • Protective suit
  • hive tool (for levering out frames and opening waxed up boxes) + brush (for brushing bees off frames, can use a dust pan brush)

Where to get bees and how to start a hive

There are two main ways to start a hive. Collect a swarm of wild bees or buy a queen. Collecting a ready-made swarm sounds good and it’s free, but you have to keep in mind, they could be more aggressive than bred bees. If you purchase a queen from Guilfoyle’s or a breeder, you’ll also need to buy some frames of honey and brood cells to get them on their way. Or if you’re lucky, you might have a friend who could give them too you.

Purchase and hire of bee equipment, along with some advice available from Guilfoyle’s in Midland.

Hive Location

When choosing a spot for your hive, make sure the flight path (opening) wont be in the way of garden access. Ideally face the entrance NE, so the sun wakes them up. It can help to have some protection on the West face to keep them cool in summer, but not essential, bees are pretty hardy.

Pete’s tip

  • Get good quality equipment
  • Calm bees mean a happy bee keeper!

Bees in the Backyard

The next Kitchen Gardeners’ Society meet is coming up and it’s all about bees.

Once again it’s at Steve and Elizabeth’s house, Marmalade Cottage (RSVP for address).

Sunday 5 August
1.30 – 4pm

Bees are an essential part of the productive garden – they pollinate for fruit production, and if you have a hive, give you honey.  Without them, life on earth starves.

As well as learning about bees and keeping them, we’ll have the sharing table – if you have something from your garden or kitchen you’d like to share, please bring it along, and take home something from someone else’s garden.

After the bee presentation, we’ll have afternoon tea.  If you’d like to bring something along yummy, please do.  Perhaps with a honey theme?

There isn’t a great deal of shelter in the backyard, so if it’s wet, bring your umbrella.  It isn’t a terribly kid-friendly place (there’s poo and rusty metal) so you’ll need to keep a close eye on any little ones.

Please email guildfordkitchengardeners@gmail.com to RSVP.