Our adventure with bees started around June 2007 with a small swarm hanging from a low branch in an ornamental cherry on site – and then over the course of the last nine years or so what began as an accidental hobby has grown from strength to strength into quite a profitable little enterprise!
A & J Apiaries was officially launched as a brand in 2011, although the concept has grown steadily since our foray into the world of apiculture. We now produce, and market, a range of hive related products that are available at any time of the year.
This currently includes, but is not limited to, the following range of products:
- Award winning clear and set honeys (1lb jar)
- Cut Comb honey
- Full Frame honey
- Pure beeswax bars
- Pure beeswax taper candles
- Beeswax furniture polish (natural and lavender perfumed)
- Local wooden honey drizzlers (turned on the pole lathe)
These are available directly from our premises or can be purchased at one of the many shows we attend – generally during the course of the summer months. We normally take an observation hive with us so that visitors can see the bees at work! We plan to be able to offer our products for sale online through the website in the near future.
Not only do we market a range of products from our hives but we can also offer complete hives of bees and nucs on British Standard National or Commercial Frames between late spring and mid summer. These require pre-ordering and are very much subject to availability.
We breed all of our own queens and as such they are well suited to our variable weather conditions. So far, they’ve proved to be very gentle, hygienic, and good producers of brood & honey. Compared to some of the bees we have worked with ours are quite definitely angelic!
We are members of the South East Hertfordshire Beekeepers’ Association and between us have served on the committee for a number of years, in the positions of treasurer and librarian. We are heavily involved in the delivery of the Association’s annual 8 week introduction to beekeeping course, usually taking place early in the spring before the bees get really busy!
We also deliver our own courses throughout the beekeeping season:
Half-day taster – for those that have an interest in bees and are keen to find out more about this fascinating social insect. Come and get close up to the bees and take the opportunity to have all those questions you didn’t know who to ask answered by an experienced beekeeper.
Full-day experience – for those who are interested in taking the first step towards looking after their own bees. The day will cover all the practical considerations that need to be taken into account when starting beekeeping including siting an apiary, essential and desirable equipment, the beekeepers year and the processing of hive produce – plus many other aspects of this rewarding hobby.
Weekend introduction to beekeeping – this course goes into far greater detail and depth than the day experience, and is ideal for those that have already decided to take on their first hive of bees, or have recently acquired their first colony.
All of the above courses include practical experience of handling bees!
Courses will be advertised on the website and can be viewed here.
We also offer a local swarm collection service when time permits – details of this service can be found by clicking here.