The Lincolnshire Wolds Walking festival got off to a great start at the weekend. We really enjoyed the 10-mile Rothwell Ramble which began in Nettleton Village. The weather was kind to us and the route went through some beautiful scenery, making the challenging walk not in the least bit arduous.
The festival gives us a good excuse to get outdoors and remind ourselves how lucky we are to live in this undulating, idyllic countryside. It also encourages us to get some fresh air and exercise! The 104 walks on offer ensure there is something for everyone. Of course, encouraging walking here and allowing people to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the area is a big part of our vision for the future of South Ormsby. We already have the Wesley Walk and the Skipwith Stride and will be bringing elements of these into walks 68, 69 & 70 of the Walking Festival walks on 30th May, visit woldswalkingfestival.co.uk for more information,
The white cows we saw on the Rothwell Ramble will be swapped for our very own Lincoln Reds. We are sure walkers here on the 30th will love seeing the little calves who are now quite independent of their mums and not intimidated by visitors. The walk will also provide a closer view of the Hall, parts of the Park and the village.
Good news on the bee front. Our Walled Garden bees are doing extremely well. Craig is checking on them regularly and we have no concerns about the dreaded varroa mites (bee parasites) which carry virus’ that impact on the health of the colony.
Paul Horton, a local 2nd generation beekeeper, has successfully installed 30 hives on the Estate, carefully positioning them to ensure the bees are close to a variety of pollen and nectar. He hopes this will vary the taste of the honey as the bees first find rape seed, then Hawthorn, then field beans and finally lime tree pollen as the season progresses. Paul follows the whole process through, from collecting the honeycombs to centrifuging and filtering the honey, before bottling it. It will be great to taste honey from our own Estate.
Craig is continuing to expand his knowledge, explaining to interested parties about the difference between worker bees, females, who collect the pollen in pollen baskets on their legs and make the honey and wax in the frames; and the drone males who simply mate with the queen and ensure the bee population continues to thrive. A queen can produce as many as 2,000 larvae a day! She generally lives for about two years. The bees will swarm, then take the old queen with them to a previously scouted venue leaving a new queen in the existing hive with the remaining bees. Bees hibernate in winter rotating around the queen to keep her insulated and warm.
The warm weather has also brought out the bumble bees. These fatter, furry bees do produce a honey like substance but only in small amounts as they live in smaller colonies of 50-400 in a nest, rather than a hive which can contain a staggering 20,000-60,000 honey bees.
If, like me, you now have a craving for honey, why not head over to Paul’s website apidae.co.uk, where you can find out a lot more about bees and honey production, as well as order a jar or two!