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New Apiaries for Honey Bees

Llangattock Apiaries new Bee Hives

Llangattock Apiaries are busy putting out new apiaries for their honey bees

Spring is finally beginning to arrive. We have had a couple of lovely sunny days, the flowers are beginning to open up. The bees are waking up and starting to go out searching for pollen.

It is a busy time of the year for us. We check all of our almost 300 apiaries daily to ensure that they bees are all healthy and that there are not any problems that we need to deal with.

We are increasing our production of our natural honey to supply our customers.

We supply both Trade and individual customers. We now have small, individual 42 grams sized jars of honey which are ideal for Hotels, B & B’s and accommodation providers for Continental breakfasts served in rooms or to go onto the breakfast tables. They are also ideal for guests to buy to take home as a memory of their holiday.

Our honey comes in many different varieties and flavours. We also produce and sell beeswax products. These include honeycomb, pollen, beeswax candles, beeswax food wraps, beeswax lip balm, propolis, honey soap, and nose and paw balm for dogs. We are extending our range all of the time.

If you can’t find any products that you would like to buy, just email Anthony on info@llangattockapiaries.co.uk and we will do our best to help you.

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The Life Cycle of the Honey Bee

Llangattock Apiaries honey bees

A beekeeper, whether someone who does it for a hobby or whether they are a large commercial producer, cannot be successful unless they fully understand the life cycle of the honey bee.

The honey bee’s life cycle is a unique and fascinating process.

The Life Cycle

The cycle all starts with the egg. The hives queen bee lays an egg in one of the cells which have been constructed for the purpose of laying eggs.   The queen will lay the egg and move on to lay another.  During the spring months the queen can lay an average of 1900 eggs daily.  The egg is attached to the cell with a mucus strand.

When the egg hatches a larvae emerges.  Nurse bees are in charge of caring for the young larvae.  They feed the eggs bee bread.  Bee bread is a strange mixture of gland secretions and honey.  The larvae will go through five distinct growth stages. After each of these stages the larvae sheds its outer skin.  When the larvae are six days old, a worker bee comes along and caps the larvae, cocooning the larvae in its cell.  The larvae stays the in the cocoon for eight to ten days.  It will then emerge from the cocoon as a fully formed young bee.

The Length of Honey Bee Life

The average length of life average honey bee depends on what purpose the bee fulfills in the hive.  A queen bee can live for two years providing that she was able to get herself inseminated with enough sperm during her nuptial flight.  A good strong queen bee can lay as many as 2000 eggs a day.  The queen bee’s responsibility is to kill her sisters and mothers.  The queen bee doesn’t have to look after herself, because she is always surrounded by an entourage of worker bees who feed her and remove her waste.  It is not uncommon for the elderly queen bee to leave the nest in the springtime when the rest of the hive is getting ready to swarm.  Experts believe that the queen produces some sort of pheromone that prevents the hive’s workers bees from becoming interested in sex.  A queen bee that has not made her nuptial flight is called a virgin queen.  Drone bees are male bees that live only to impregnate queen bees during the queen’s nuptial flight.

After mating with a queen the drone dies.

Worker Bees

During the winter months, a worker bee can live up to one hundred and forty days old.  During the summer months the worker bee is lucky to live for forty days, the short summer life span is because the worker bees are literally worked to death.  The worker bee’s duties are wide and varied.  Worker bees called nurse bees are in charge of caring for the young larvae.  The other worker bees have to gather pollen to be made into honey.  Some workers spend their time capping off honey combs, other workers are responsible for taking care of the queen.  Worker bees are in charge of starving the unwanted drone bees and cleaning the hive.  There can be any were from twenty thousand to two hundred thousand worker bees in a single hive.  Worker bees are always sterile. If a worker bee lays an egg it becomes a drone bee.  Workers bees are the bees that people see defending the hive.

The survival of the bee hive depends on the hive having a healthy queen that is laying eggs. If something happens to the queen the hive will die.

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Why Honey?

Honey is a superfood

Honey is 100% natural.  It is healthier than sugar, nutritious, sustainable, versatile and delicious. 

Honey can even help prevent hay fever, it is naturally antibacterial and is a source of minerals.

Humans have been eating honey for thousands of years.   It’s a natural sweetener.

You should eat honey, too.

Local honey is better for you

Llangattock honey is made by bees who gather nectar from the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. 

They make wildflower honey because wildflowers grow right outside the hives; in the surrounding fields, on the banks of the River Usk, and on the slopes of the Black Mountains which overlook them.

The honey they make contains traces of pollen; if you eat it, it acts like a vaccine, making your body more resistant to hay fever.

Local honey is better for the environment

A thriving local bee population is essential for our environment. 

The bees pollinate plants around us, promoting biodiversity in our countryside, and keeping our hedgerows and fields healthy and fertile.

Only locally produced raw honey has these benefits; buying from a supermarket isn’t the same.  Mass-produced honey can be blended and filtered in ways which break the link with local flowers and lower the nutritional value.

We have 250 hives in Llangattock, Bwlch and on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain.

The bees are tended by Anthony Smith, who has been keeping them for six years.  Anthony says, “We like to think that if you taste our honey, you get a taste of the wildflowers and heathers which surround us.  We do very little to it; it is straight out of the hive and into the jar within 24 hours. What could be more local than that?”

If you buy Llangattock Honey, you will get the best flavour, the highest nutritional content, the very best of what is around you. Buy local, buy Llangattock Honey.