We have jarred up this year’s first batch of honey (Spring 2020), which is now for sale. Collected and produced by our bees. This spring honey is still runny and floral. Although it will probably crystallise over time (as all naturally produced honey does), when it goes solid, we provide instructions on how to make it liquid again.
Local Bickington & Fremington Honey
All our local honey is produced by our bees and harvested using craft skills and traditional methods. Our bees are located on our smallholding in between Bickington and Fremington, just on the outside of Barnstaple, North Devon.
Buy online, CLICK & COLLECT (Orders can be placed for EX31, EX32, EX33 or EX39 postcodes)
Or knock and buy from the door. We take contactless card payments up to £45 Find us here .,,,,
Sorry we do not offer retail or quantity discounts.
In our opinion, the local honey shows the characteristics of a traditional English honey, smooth but floral with hints of fudge and citrus.
All natural and unprocessed honey will crystallise over time. Depending on which flowers the bees have been visiting will depend on how quickly the honey granulates or goes solid. Processed liquid honey bought in the super market, is treated to stop granulation. This is often done through heating the honey. This process destroys the natural properties of the honey removing the benefits and altering the taste.
At Chilcotts Farm our honey is Pure and Untreated. All we do is filter our honey after it has been extracted.
The fact that honey crystallises and granulates, is the best evidence that you have a quality pure product. However, if you prefer liquid honey you can restore it to a liquid state by gently heating the honey. To do this:
Loosen the lid of the jar, and stand the honey jar in a bowl of hot water.
Gently stir the honey until the honey becomes liquid again.
“Another May new buds and flowers shall bring: Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?” – Charlotte Turner Smith
This spring certainly keeps bringing. The weather continues to be fantastic for the bees. The recent rain has been welcome. This enables the plants to draw up water and increase the nectar flow in the flowers.
In turn this ensures the bees supply continues to come.
The hives are still doing well, and the bees continue to build up their honey stores. Hopefully at the end of May, I’ll be able to harvest the first honey crop of 2020
Last year I housed a honey bee swarm I collected from the local area. On returning, I put the swarm into a new hive with about half the intended frames I had to hand. I needed to assemble more and intended to put the remaining frames in the following day.
However, I didn’t get the chance to return to the hive for a couple of days. At this point the colony had drawn wild comb which was hanging from the crown board (the lid on the top of the hive).
In a dilemma, I decided to leave the hive until the following season and sort it out then.
Yesterday, was the day. In the main picture you can see 5 pieces of wild comb. Each of these were packed with brood (growing baby bees).
I took three pieces of the wild comb and attached each piece into a frame using elastic bands (not sure how this will work). I then transferred these to a new hive with new frames. The new hive was put back in the same place as the original hive.
I couldn’t find the queen, but hopefully she was somewhere amongst the existing frames or was brushed off into the new hive as I removed each piece of wild comb.
Now all tidy and manageable, the hive can be easily inspected. Next week, I will go in and see if I can find the queen or evidence that she is still laying.
We have done a lot of work to the house and the out buildings. Moving a lot of stone, roof tiles and bricks we have discovered all sorts of things, including little pockets of history.
Most of the bricks and roof tiles which were stacked up appeared to have been from outbuildings that had fallen into ruin. Most of the bricks and tiles were unmarked or branded. Interestingly we have found a batch of roof tiles & the odd brick stamped with Lauder & Smith Brick & Tile Works, Barnstaple.
It turns out this tile works was about 3 miles away from Chilcotts Farm in an area of Barnstaple called Pottington. The pottery was in business for 38 years from 1876 to 1914.
I am guessing the start of the First World War in 1914, was the reason for the demise of the company.
We haven’t researched the age of the property, but we thought it was mid 1800s. The farm house, isn’t built of bricks, but rather a rubble construction with render. I am guessing the Lauder & Smith bricks and tiles were brought in at a later date and used for an outbuilding.
Even though we are in lockdown, it could be worse! The weather is fantastic! The sun and warmth maybe shining in through the windows, or you have the opportunity to sit outside ….. it could be worse ….. it could be raining!
This morning we sat outside and had a lovely breakfast with homemade jam made with homegrown fruit!
Well wouldn’t you bee unhappy too if your house has been blown over, and you are exposed to all the elements?
I can see the hives from the house and am always keeping an eye on the them checking all is well.
Everyone had been warning us about #StormCiara, but for some reason I didn’t think about the hives. This morning when I got up, the hives were fine, but the wind was gusting. The BBC website said gusts up to 70 miles per hour.
Mid morning, one of the hives blew over! Spotted as it happened, I shot out to pick the hive up to protect the poor bees from the wind and rain. As I upped the hive and went to get some blocks and straps to to put on the roof and hold it down, it blew over again!
Angry, unhappy bees is an understatement! Poor things. Anyway, I managed to up the hive again (Four stings later – four little bees obviously managed to get into my bee jacket) I weighed it down with bricks and strapped it together. I then strapped all the other hives down too.
Fingers crossed the queen has not been damaged, and all the girls will support her as she starts to lay in the coming weeks.