Some years ago, I saw a crowd funder for a new type of beehive developed by farmers in Australia. Their story went viral, they raised way more than they needed, and I became the owner of one of their founding boxes.
The innovative thing about this beehive is that you simply turn a crank and the honey comes out of a tap at the front, which sounds nothing short of miraculous. Sadly, however, my founding member flow hive, stamped with the year 2015 on the side, has never been unpacked. It has sat up in the eaves of the marquee barn at Vallum gathering bird poo and dust all these years, waiting for bees to fall into my lap so that I could get it up and running.
And now, at last, it is in operation, taking three friends an afternoon to put it together on the promise of a summer feast, and it’s a thing of beauty!
Why now? Well, the team at Restaurant Pine here at Vallum mentioned they wanted to get bees, and the buzz (sorry) on Facebook was that a lovely lady in Allendale had some for sale. The hive is now in Allendale as the lovely Tracy works at getting her existing frames to fit it. She will then move the queen into the hive and the bees will follow. At some point, somehow (I’m intrigued to know how…) the hive and the resident bees will be transported to Vallum.
The team at Pine are going to look after the bees as I’ve realised the attention to detail and learning required would not be my forte, and we’re all waiting with bated breath for their arrival.
We have some late summer weddings then a well-deserved trip to Scotland to relax. Meanwhile, Cafe Aroma here at Vallum is advertising for staff as they are soon to open.
Here’s hoping for an Indian summer so the bees happily adjust to their new home and we all sail happily into autumn.
Oh, and if you’re thinking of getting bees, the Beekeepers’ Association is a good place to start.
Vicky Moffitt, of Vallum Farm on Hadrian’s Wall, shares the trials and tribulations of the Kitchen Garden which supplies produce to the farm’s weddings and events venue. Vallum, Military Road, Newcastle, NE18 0LL, tel 01434 672 652, www.vallumfarm.co.uk