Copper Bee Apiary

A garden apiary in Whittlesford, Cambridge, UK - honey bees and their beekeeper Hilary van der Hoff.


The new garden has a blackthorn, exactly where I would have planted one. When the sun comes out, it is already covered in bees.

Forager on blackthorn

Someone else's bees, you might say. Not entirely so. Because when bees are in your garden, they are your bees. Still, "home" to these bees will be somewhere else...a nearby apiary.

Now, pay attention to this important pair of equations:

Pollinated blackthorn -> sloes (on the tree) + honey (for the bee)

Sloes (from the tree) + honey (from the bee) -> sloe gin

That apiary is welcome to the pollen and honey. My blackthorn is hopefully set to make a bountiful crop of sloes. If I can harvest them before passers by snaffle them from the front garden, sloe gin will follow!

At least, I think it's a blackthorn...

Update 13 August 2018

Still too early for sloes, but I found a small bullace tree in the back garden. Bullaces are like big sloes, which ripen earlier, and aren't quite as sour. Bullace gin, here we come...

Writings, images and sound recordings are by the beekeeper unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Logo artwork © 2015-2019 Susan Harnicar Jackson. All rights reserved.