To celebrate Buy One, Get One Bee, back in July we ran a competition for one lucky winner and a friend to come along to the National Trust's Hanbury Hall to meet Tim the beekeeper and ask him all sorts of questions.
The winner was Julian and he'll be going along in a couple of weeks time to meet Tim, see the bees and have a spot of afternoon tea (we'll keep you posted about it right here).
In the meantime though, we thought it'd be polite to introduce Tim properly.
- Tim's day job is as a computer software consultant so he looks after the bees in his spare time.
- He's been beekeeping for about 10 years now, after having told a friend he wanted to see inside a hive (and then ending up looking after the entire colony).
- His kids like to help him collect the swarms. That's his son on the right below (resplendent in mini bee keeper attire).
Tim has very kindly answered every question that came in as part of the competition because he's a good man like that.
Here are just a few of his answers to some of the questions we had through:
Aren't you worried the bees will sting you? (Teresa Hill)
Whenever I get stung, it's because I did something that I shouldn't have so I'm more annoyed with myself for not noticing it. For example, going to move part of the beehive and not realising I have a bee caught in the fold of my glove. If I frightened the bee by trapping it in my glove then I deserve to be stung. Still hurts though.
Does the smoke used to help pacify the bees have any effect on humans? (Elaine Miller)
Yes. It's makes my eyes water for a start. I burn rotten wood but other beekeepers burn cardboard, old sacking or special old tobacco. The smoke causes the bees to think their hive is going to burn down so they may need to leave in a hurry. Seeing as they don't have any luggage, they fill their mouths with honey and nectar. Then they get a bit sleepy (like we all do after a big meal) and can't be bothered to move. Which means I can get to the honey more easily.
Is it true that honey is made by bees regurgitating nectar? (Bronwyn Cannon)
Well seeing as they haven't got any baskets to carry in, yes it is.
For the rest of Tim's answers, check out the comments below.
P.S. If you still haven't tried our lemon, honey and ginger recipe, then you haven't got long left before our next special guest recipe hits the shelves.
So bee quick and get down the shops quick smart.
(pun shamelessly stolen from Ben W)