Part of the basic bee keeping course was spotting other types of bee and the results were interesting. There were plenty of white tailed and red tailed and garden bumbles in the phacelia, but a tree bumble bee was also happy feeding along with the others. It only arrived in the UK in 2001. It makes doing the nesting boxes worthwhile; more for next year.
There was ample theory on the beekeeping course but the practical work of assembling and fixing bee frames was most successful. Considering this a couple of new courses will be running in the autumn making straw skeps (used since the Middle Ages for keeping bees) and another making the more traditional ornamental hives looking from the outside like a William Broughton Carr. Although ornamental, both hives are bait hives and may well get a swarm in the Spring which can be sold back to beekeepers who will be only too pleased to collect them.
They will not only be good for the environment but may also yield some pocket money.
Forest Harvest will be glad to buy back a swarm or two.
The Willow Weaving courses were fun, everyone surprised by the amount of art and ornaments they could do in the first day; beautiful baskets on the second.
In future the weaving will be run as independent days as you don’t need the skills from one to do the other. A new marquee will ensure there is enough room to expand the courses for next year. Each weaver needs plenty of room.
Another development is that Forest Harvest is joining the Family that is the National Forest.
It is hoped that our forest gardens can become points of interest in the increasingly popular activities of the forest.
Advertising has started for our first National Apple Day event on the 21st October 2015. This will involve the free use of the Forest Harvest Apple Masher and the Juice Press for visitors who want to come along. (Scrumped apples are welcome ….. with owners permission!)
One advantage of keeping bees is a knowledge of what plants flower when. On the 13th September it is an opportunity for couples getting married next September 2016 to see what blooms in September. This course is especially for couples thinking of doing their own flowers. The workshop will demonstrate how to make table decorations and button holes, and how to grow them.
Tweets suggest that more and more people are enjoying getting back to the outdoors,