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Downton Honey

downton honey

Over the last couple of years I have reduced the number of beehives I keep and generally only have enough honey for my own family's use, and to give away to friends and family. On a good year you may find some of my excess honey for sale at The Borough Cafe in Downton.

7 Ways to Help the Honey Bee

Make a honey bee friendly habitat

Plant flowers that produce nectar for honey bees in a 'Bee friendly garden' however big or small.

Allow your local beekeeper to use your garden/land

If you live in the Downton area and have a garden or small patch of land where I could keep one or more bee hives, please get in contact.

I am currently looking for several sites to temporarily accommodate single hives with new swarms each year from the swarming season in May/June until the following January. I am also looking for a larger site suitable for a permanent apiary to accommodate 10-15 hives.

A suitable area would be free of pets/livestock (that may knock a hive over), away from small children and footpaths (to minimise risk of stings), and secluded from public sight (to avoid vandalism). Mowing the lawn and gardening around a beehive is only for the brave, and so ideally the area should not need regular maintenance. A permanent apiary would also need to be accessible 24 hours a day (without needing to disturb you, and with good vehicle access).

The standard 'rent for a beehive plot is one 1lb jar of honey - per hive - per year. For anyone accommodating hives I will also give you the chance of buying more jars at a reduced rate.

Buy locally produced honey

Buying local honey helps local beekeepers cover the substantial costs of beekeeping and protecting bees.

Over the last couple of years I have reduced the number of beehives I keep and generally only have enough honey for my own family's use, and to give away to friends and family. On a good year you may find some of my excess honey for sale at The Borough Cafe in Downton.

Dispose of honey jars carefully

80% of honey consumed in the UK is imported! Overseas honey can contain bacteria and spores that are harmful to native British honey bees. Please do not keep unwashed honey jars outside your back door

Report a swarm

In the UK honey bees usually swarm in May or June. It is a wonderful sight.

Although swarms are not usually dangerous they should not be approached. If you see a swarm of bees, then please get in contact with the Salisbury area swarm co-ordinator. Contact details are available via the Salisbury and District Beekeepers Association website here - sdbka.org.
There is usually no charge for collecting a swarm.

Honey bees form tight clusters, usually hanging from a tree. If you are uncertain if you have a swarm of bees please see if it looks like the swarms as shown on the swarm photo page. Please DO NOT contact me about bumble bees which are large, furry and do not cluster. I will not remove a bumble bee nest at any cost.

Become a beekeeper

Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby that anyone can take up. I started beekeeping when I was 12 years old.

The best way to learn is to read a few books on beekeeping and to join your local association. The Salisbury Beekeeping Association can be contacted via its website at www.salisburybka.co.uk. Here you can get news about local meetings which are usually free to attend, and see inside a beehive for yourself.

Read the start beekeeping page to find out more.

Adopt a beehive

Beekeeping is not for everyone. If you don't have a space in your garden to offer a local beekeeper you can still help via the 'Adopt a Beehive' scheme. This is a national organisation that helps beekeepers, and promotes beekeeping research and education.
See www.adoptabeehive.co.uk for more information.