Removing a Honey Bee Colony

Removing a Honey Bee Colony

Although we don’t do many honey bee colony removals, Mark was pleased to be persuaded into taking this one. It was a whooper, with several buckets of honey and boxes of brood. Having located the queen, this strong, good natured colony was safely moved to our bee breeding unit.

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Helping Out Tired Bumblebees

Helping Out Tired Bumblebees

You may notice a few very large bumble bees flying about at this time of year. These queens bumblebees are occasionally caught out by the unpredictable weather in early spring. Read on to to find out what to do with an exhausted queen bumblebee at home…

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Beekeeping Courses in West Dorset

Beekeeping Courses in West Dorset

Know someone who's interested in having bees but doesn't know where to start?  Our half-day Beekeeping Introductory course makes a lovely gift. We're taking bookings now for courses in 2020. We had some great feed back this year with The Bee Intro Course proving...

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Colours of pollen

Colours of pollen

Pollen colour is one of the variables that affects the colour of our balms, salves, butters and polishes. Discover more about where your local bees are foraging with our new simple pollen guide, included in our Bee Garden Kit-in-a-card.

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Natural beeswax balms made in Dorset

Natural beeswax balms made in Dorset

Our balms, salves and butters are free from water and do not contain synthetic colourings or fragrances, artificial preservatives, parabens, phthalates or mineral oils. They are concentrated, nourishing oil-based blends.

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Beeswax food wraps

Beeswax food wraps

When it's cold outside, we like to spend a bit of time indoors experimenting with new products. Suzy has trialled and adapted our new kits for making beeswax food wraps. We've put together some clear instructions and you can make 3 wraps from each kit.  NEW Food Wrap...

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Lemon and Ginger in tea and lip balm

Lemon and Ginger in tea and lip balm

Time to look after yourself with some Lemon and ginger winter Tea - best made in a teapot, but if you haven't one to hand, make it in a jug covered with a small plate to keep the tea warm while it brews. Warm the pot or jug first, then add the Juice of one lemon, some...

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Athelhampton House Christmas Fair

Athelhampton House Christmas Fair

Getting ready for the Dorset Food & Drink Christmas Fair.  We have Dorset honey, beeswax candles, gifts for gardeners, "thank you" gifts for teachers, craft kits.  Beeswax balms and salves to protect against the winter weather ... come and join us.

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Surviving Apple Harvest

Surviving Apple Harvest

We’re about to start in the orchard on the last job of the year.  The bees are all fed and sorted for winter, so we turn our efforts to harvesting the cider apples.  Before we can get going, the barns have to be cleared and cleaned, the harvesting equipment repaired...

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Art at Filberts Barn

Art at Filberts Barn

Our resident artist Suzy Moger is once again bringing her paintings to Filberts Barn in Uploders. Dorset Arts Weeks span the last week of May and into the beginning of June and offer a great way to see Dorset and meet some interesting creative folk along the way. This year’s event is from 26th May to 10th June.

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William Barnes Night in West Dorset

Dorset poet William Barnes (1801-1886) is celebrated annually by a bunch of local enthusiasts. Held in a cider shed in the depths of West Dorset a group of idiosyncratic Westcountry folk spend an evening of music, food, cider, songs and poetry. The words of Barnes’ poetry is recited in the Dorset dialect of his era. Have a look of this little video of Mark doing his best wurzel…

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Twinways Wassail!

Twinways Wassail!

A peculiar orchard tradition with its routes in paganism comes alive each year at Twinways Orchard; we invited cider and orchard lovers to help us ward off evil spirits and to shore up our chances of a good apple yield later in the year.

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Bridport Open Studios comes to Filberts Barn

Bridport Open Studios comes to Filberts Barn

Filberts' Barn is transformed into a fab exhibition space this weekend as we host an Open Studio event. Bridport Open Studios is a West Dorset-wide event, which opens up many local artists' studios to the public. Suzy Moger is displaying a large collection of...

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Making a linocut for our new greetings cards

Making a linocut for our new greetings cards

Read how Suzy Moger, local painter and printmaker, designed the new Filberts Lino Print Greetings Card. From initial sketches, to carving the lino, and printing the final piece, here's Suzy's story of how it was made. We decided that a linocut would be a great place...

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In the production barn today

In the production barn today

This morning we made a batch of Lemon and Geranium Body Butter. As we go into Autumn and the weather cools, I find my skin is drier and in need of a little extra care.  So I’ve started using a little body butter on my face (when it's still damp) as a soothing...

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Making Muscle Rub

Making Muscle Rub

We've been making muscle rub today and one of the essential oils in the recipe is Yarrow (achillea millefolium) which is a gorgeous deep blue colour, because its composition is up to 51% azulene. Richard Mabey in The Complete New Herbal writes: "Its Latin name is...

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Late Summer Flowers

Late Summer Flowers

The cold spell in June meant that summer flowers are a bit later this season – it’s September but the bees are still feeding on golden rod and myrtle, usually finished by the end of August in Dorset. Michaelmas daisy is late, but that means there is still something to...

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Gathering Pollen

Gathering Pollen

The bees are gathering pollen, most likely from willow or thorn trees in the cider orchard.  The pollen is their protein source and it is stored in the frames alongside the honey. It is found in the brood nest, in an arc over the top of the brood frames. [starbox...

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Making Beeswax Bars & Queens

Making Beeswax Bars & Queens

Yesterday I made about 500 beeswax bars and queens by melting and filtering raw beeswax - the bars sold really well last year with so much crafting going on. The queens were popular when we tried them at a show and have gone down well since we started packing them in...

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Bee Feeding, Harvesting & Pressing

Bee Feeding, Harvesting & Pressing

The weather remained reasonable this year and hive populations stayed high late into the season.  So, with plenty of late forage, the bees needed feeding in late September and early October.Although there are many schools of thought regarding feeding, we use sugar...

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Apple cake and institutions

Apple cake and institutions

Dorset Apple CakeCooking apples have been falling for a few weeks now. The sheep help them down by rubbing against the trees, others fall during little bouts of windy, rainy weather.  I usually turn to mum's Dorset WI cookbook from the 70s at some point in the apple...

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Swarms and splits

Swarms and splits

Nearly all the colonies have been split now.  Some of the new queens from this exercise will create more colonies for increase and some will replace the old queen and make larger stronger colonies for foraging once re-united.  Splitting involves opening a hive,...

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A day in the life of a beekeeper

A day in the life of a beekeeper

I’m sat within while it rains outside.  My swede aches from too much sun yesterday and a sixteen hour day trying to cram in a fungicide spray around pollination so as not to disturb the bees while they work in the sunshine.  Our new accommodation is taking shape...

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Dandelion love

Dandelion love

Dandelions tend to be labelled as bad guys in the gardening world and we sometimes take a pot of dandelion flowers along to shows to get talking about how dandelion honey tastes so good.  Our pics were taken some years ago by Freya in the wilds of Dorset, in a remote...

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West Dorset in Bloom

West Dorset in Bloom

Dorset is looking rather lovely at the moment. The bluebells are putting on a spectacular show and our local orchards are now coming into bloom. This means, having removed feeders and split strong hives earlier in the Spring, we've been busy moving our bee hives from...

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Muscle Rub

Muscle Rub

It's that time of the year again - Mark's been on a pruning mission in the cider orchards. That means pruning several hundred trees every day. So we're especially excited about our brand new Muscle Rub joining the Filberts range - what great timing! This soft, easily...

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Apples and honey, or honey and apples?

Apples and honey, or honey and apples?

Whichever way you want to look at it, in the autumn we're surrounded by piles of cyder apples and pools of golden honey.  It could be worse.  Last weekend, we sold alot of honey and cyder at Eat Dorset Food Fair.  A great weekend in Dorset, tasting other people's fine...

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Leaker’s harvest loaf

Leaker’s harvest loaf

Took a bit of West Dorset to West London with our harvest loaf baked by Leaker's of Bridport - it had pride of place on our tradeshow stand in West London last week.  Like to keep Dorset on the map.  Customers were a bit surprised when we gave out apples (as we don't...

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Busy, Busy

Busy, Busy

Things certainly kick off for us over the summer months.  While our fat sheep doze quietly under the apple trees, the bees buzz industriously around their respective West Dorset sites and we dart about after them catching swarms, splitting or moving hives and...

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April Threshing & Beekeeping

April Threshing & Beekeeping

The orchard is harrowed, the spuds are in the ground and the contractor has just been to lime the soil and bring the PH back to normal.  Nearly all the apiaries now have supers on and we’ve already had colonies superceding their queens.  Friday even saw two possible...

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Pruning underway

Pruning underway

Pruning is now underway whenever the weather lets us, the fruit bud looks strong this year and although the temperature is quite high for the season they are still very hard so will be a while before they start moving up and softening. More mixed weather this week has...

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The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game

So, after a week at the NEC Birmingham for a huge trade show, the first thing to check on getting home is the state of the garden.  Despite the wild weather, we have spring flowers showing - snowdrops, crocuses, a few daffs, witch hazel, winter honeysuckle, hellebores...

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Winter Sun and early catkins

Winter Sun and early catkins

More winter sun would definitely be a great idea. Despite the deluges over Christmas and the New Year holiday, we saw bees out during sunny spells - seems they need a bit of fresh air just like us humans.  It's going to be a great season for catkins. These are the...

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Propolis Salve

Propolis Salve

Propolis Salve is the best-selling product on our site, so maybe it's time to say a few words on the subject.  Those bees know what they're up to! Propolis is the unsung wonder product of the beehive. Collected by the older, wiser bees of the hive, sap of various...

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Huge, Lovely Ceps

Huge, Lovely Ceps

Went out early walking Hardy country ... found some rather damp parasols on an ancient monument overlooking the sea ... but best of all some amazing ceps as big as your hand near to Hardy's Mellstock.  Finding mushrooms that good just makes me grin.  The button sized...

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The Birds, Not The Bees

The Birds, Not The Bees

It’s been a great summer for birds (as well as the butterflies and bees).  Today from the windows at work we watched green and spotted woodpeckers – 2 families fledged a few weeks ago.  The photo shows a crowd of goldfinches at the bird feeder looking for an easy meal...

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What a difference a year makes!

What a difference a year makes!

What a difference a year makes; This time last year you’d have found us lamenting the floods, washed out events and drowned (literally) bees.  How fantastic to be able to say what a wonderful spate of weather we’ve been enjoying and how great to see the bees looking...

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Butterflies in Dorset

Butterflies in Dorset

The sun has returned to West Dorset in time for the local Melplash Show … we’ll be in the West Dorset Beekeepers tent sponsoring a class for Beeswax, naturally … and selling balms, salves and polishes.  But this weekend was about butterflies.  There were lots of...

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For our very 1st blog its definitely Spring!

For our very 1st blog its definitely Spring!

It must be spring I can feel on my face today. The magnolia on the lawn has started to push its flower buds out into the world and the snowdrops are receding into the banks. I always use magnolias to remind myself that the bees are probably starting to build up their...

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