We had a good weekend at the markets. Our honey sold well at the Fiskars Slow Food fair as there were very few other producers present. The event clashed with the European Beekeepers convention in Kiev, Ukraine so some of the big guys were absent. Mellangård was there but their honey is quite expensive: we were selling 450g at 6e whereas theirs is 9e for 500g but they use glass jars which I must admit do look very nice. They add flavourings to their honey which I find quite disgusting and unnecessary but that's up to them. The other local producers all had honey very similar in colour and texture to ours, which is what you would expect in a small area. The gardener at Brödtorp manor farm (an apple-growing farm) keeps bees and his honey looks very similar to ours (he was charging 12e per kilo). They are situated very close to us in Pohja: apples have been grown in that area since c.1400
R. didn't sell much honey on his stall at Inkoo Local Food Fair. He said there was one tent FULL of honey - so people were buying from there.
We are more than happy to have a few jars of honey still left over: I have a long list of people who want more and it would be nice to keep some for ourselves! It will be almost another year before we produce any more!
Next year I think we should put some of the honey into glass jars with pretty lids and sell it as gifts.
Having steam-cleaned the inside of the container, Peter spent this afternoon painting it white. We will leave it wide open for a few days to dry.
Just in time, the cold weather has arrived, so we can start piling all the beekeeping supplies in there for the winter.
We had been considering storage options for some time and now we finally got ourselves a container.
It is pot luck when you order one of these. They just grab the nearest one off the pile and you take what you get. Ours has been around the world a few times but apart from some scrapes and bruises, it is in pretty good shape. We steam-cleaned it yesterday and now it is drying out.
It is invisible from the lake which is what we wanted. The doors open and close very well, so all we need now is to build a ramp, as it is standing on telegraph posts (from Friisila, that was a good deal!)
The container will be used for storing all the hives and the honey equipment during the winter (and during most of the summer too). It will be a safe mouse-free zone, though I guess we might have to climb on top and sweep the snow off occasionally.
We are still feeding the hives but the activity has slowed down and the bees are less voracious eaters than before. While I was picking the runner beans I did notice bees on the borage and also on the clover that is invading the vegetable garden.
We have sold well over half the honey but the rest will go to Fiskars for the Slow Food Fair next weekend. We will also be selling honey through Ronnie at the Local Food Fair (on the same day) at Mangs Gård in Inkoo. It will be interesting to see whether Helsinki folk go as far as Fiskars or whether they just stop in Mangs Gård. it will probably depend on the weather. Anyway, we have both covered!
P topped up all the feeding trays with sugar solution today. Hopefully this will be the last time we have to do it.
We will have to remove the queen separators for the winter (so the bees can move freely up and down the hive with the queen) but realised that they are stuck down with propolis which is as strong as superglue. Ran out of time so will do it one night in the autumn, they are way too aggressive at the moment.
All the hives are looking good.