Ok, so I’ve gone into apiary. My good friend Arthur Howell has been mithering me for ages to keep bees. He’s been doing it for years and his father did it before him.
After years of listening to Arthur telling me I’m mad not to try and produce my own honey I’ve finally seen the light and decided to have a go.
Arthur has kindly given me one of his hives (coincidentally a blue and white one in Crown colours), which my handyman Jimmy helped me put together. We’ve smeared the inside of the hive with bee fondant (a mixture of sugar, water, cream of tarter and rye flour and a little salt) and put it on top of our sustainable green roof.
I want to attract my own bees rather than buying in a colony. I like the idea of luring them into the hive myself. It’s a bit like fishing. Every morning I stand in Room One (after the guests have checked out of course) and look out onto the roof in the hope of seeing a bee or two flying in and out.
The hope is that one of the forager bees from another colony nearby will be attracted to the fondant and check out our hive, then return to its own colony with rebellion on its mind, seeking to entice a rebel queen and some other bees to go to the new hive and start a splinter colony. It’s early days but I’m hoping a bee revolution is already underway.
The ultimate aim is to attract a flourishing colony of my own so that I can harvest Crown honey which we can serve for breakfast and use as an ingredient in some of the dishes we create in the hotel kitchen.
I’ll let you know how I get on, but it’s already giving me a good buzz…