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What do I do if a swarm of bees turns up?

If you have a swarm of bees - DON'T PANIC. The first thing to check is if they are honey bees. If they really are honey bees then ring your local beekeepers association. For more details on how to check what you have got and get help see our swarms page.

If you live near to Bridport in Dorset then you can ring us on 01308 423808.

Contact Us

If you enjoy our stories and ponderings or want to give us feedback or suggestions for the site or our beekeeping escapades you can contact us by Email

All about our honey

Beesmith honey jarsWe hope you enjoy our honey.  It comes from our own hives sited on organic farms and gardens around Bridport.  We cannot call our honey organic but we do our best to care for our bees responsibly, sympathetically, ethically and  sustainably.

Pure honey, honestly harvested
Unlike some beekeepers, we will never take all the bees' honey and replace it with a sugar syrup feed.  We will only ever take surplus honey having ensured that our bees keep enough of their own stores to see them safely through the winter and off to a good start in the spring. Sometimes colonies do need feeding.  If conditions are so bad that they have used up all their own stores or failed to harvest enough we prefer to give them back some of their own honey and we will always try to store enough to avoid feeding sugar.  If really necessary we will feed sugar syrup to new colonies and swarms to help them build up and settle in, but increasingly our preference is to feed honey or honey syrup from our other hives.

The point is we aim to give our bees the best and help them flourish, not plunder their stores and replace it with a poor substitute.  In any case you can keep an eye on exactly what we are doing on our blog.

Natural and minimally processed
You may find that our honey is not as clear as some. This is because we do not over filter it.  We also don't use any heat in processing so the honey remains thicker and holds on to small particles of natural pollen, wax and honey crystals.  (It's a bit like cold pressed olive oil being the best!) Some people refer to our kind of honey as "raw" honey.  You may even find a little coating on the top of the honey where it has slowly released these particles and bubbles: this is quite natural, healthy and tasty.  (This is the bit most beekeepers reserve for themselves!)  It all means the honey has more nutrients, more aroma and more flavour.

Most honeys will granulate or set over time.  This is the natural process of crystallisation and shows that the honey has not been unnecessarily processed.  If the honey has set but you prefer it runnier, all you need to do is place the jar in a warm place for 24 hours (don't let it go above 45°C (113°F) or you will lose some of the aromatic oils and vitamins) or loosen the lid and place the jar in warm water and gently heat for a few minutes.  Do not let the water boil.

Unique taste
If you buy our honey regularly you will find the taste and texture will differ from jar to jar.  This is because we bottle in small batches and honey sources change through the year and from hive to hive.  So if you especially like a particular batch better note the lot number and get back to us quickly.

Best before
We put a best before date on the jars because we have to by law.  In reality honey will keep in excellent condition for many, many years if stored sealed, cool and in the dark.  We cannot imagine that anyone will be able to keep our honey very long.  Maybe it should say, best before others get their hands on it.  But if you have hidden some and find it in 10 years time it should be absolutely fine.

Please don't put honey jars in the recycling bin.  The best way to save the energy of producing and transporting a jar is pop it back to us for sterilisation and reuse.  We only want honey jars though: clean jam jars are welcome at the WI Country Market.

We will mostly reuse wax from our bees to provide starter strips and foundation that is free from impurities and possible contamination from chemical residues, but from time to time we may have some to spare.  If you would like some beeswax let us know and we can prepare some for you.