Bee Blogs – July 2012

by in News, Simon's Bee Keeping

The Long- Life Honey Syrup – treats migraine


One and half pints of garden mercury

Eight fluid ounces juice of borage

Eight fluid ounces of bugloss

Two ounces gladioli roots or orris roots, crushed.

One and half root of gentian, crushed

Two pounds of honey

Twelve fluid ounces of white wine



Marinate the crushed roots in the wine overnight. Melt the honey over low heat; add the juices. Boil for one minute, skim the foam; pour through a sieve. Combine the crushed roots and liquid mixture in a pan over low heat and simmer until a heavy syrup forms.

Take three hours before meals to relieve migraines and dizziness. The syrup retains its potency for approximately three weeks.



The major preoccupation of all beekeepers, particularly at this time of the year, is with the weather. In the first two vital weeks in July we had only had one or two good ‘bee days’. The 5th of July was one such day and I was fortunate enough to have time to watch the bees flying with such urgency and abandon. I was happy that each of my hives was working to its full potential.


The difficulty this summer is that after a good day several poor days have followed and so bees have probably used up all the stores they had carefully gathered.


The last few days of July has provided some respite for my bees and they have been flying hard gathering the last of the nectar from the bramble and clover.


If you are within range of ling heather you have an opportunity of one last flow. Ling heather grows on the bog and produces a very thick, viscous honey which cannot be extracted but is one of the most delicious honeys you can get! You need a honey press or else use unwired foundation and simply produce cut comb.


It is only worth bringing strong colonies to the heather. If a colony has already produced a good crop then it may not be the best colony to take to the heather. If you are serious about moving bees to the heather it may be best to make up a few nuclei and young mated queens at the end of June.  Feed them well so that you have strong stock fit for the rigours of collecting nectar from heather.  I have found my bees very cross when working on the heather – this maybe because the nectar is to thick and difficult to collect.


One trick to ensure the bees put all nectar in the supers is to fill the brood box with sealed and unsealed brood. Frames of sealed brood  can be  added  from  other colonies that are not being moved if these are available.  



Moving requires careful preparation – I have experience of a hive splitting apart and the bees escaping!


1.    Crown board is replaced by a ventilation screen and the hive is secured by means of a nylon strap.

2.    In the evening before moving, when flying has ceased, a piece of foam rubber is pushed into the hive entrance.

3.    The hives can be moved during the night or first thing in the morning.

4.    At the bog, the hive straps are kept in place, a sheet of insulation is placed above the ventilation screen, the roof replaced and the bees released.


If you decide to go ….good luck with it! I had little success here in Limerick but worked with a beekeeper in Dublin who produced wonderfully delicious sections of heather honey!


Honey poultices  are excellent to put on wounds or burns……

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