Apiaries at Honey-Mountain

The most central apiary has mostly the large hives.

Breage Apiary

My most populated apiary is close to Breage village, which I can see from the apiary over a nearby valley. It is sorrounded by wild land, with brambles, gorse, wild cotoneaster and two forms of heather. Not far away is woodland containing sycamore and a range of common local trees and bushes. Surrounding fields used to have clover until a farmer renting the land decided to reseed with rye grass and use nitrogenous fertiliser. The wild cotoneaster covered several acres until some local pyromaniac decided it was time for a bonfire. All honey from this apiary is sold under the label "Breage Honey". The label is a digital copy of an original watercolour sketch by a good friend Gordon Jelfs who lived in Carleen village, more or less within sight of the apiary and who died in St. Julia's Hospice.

The Helston Upper apiary is a compact one.

Helston Apiaries

I had 2 apiaries which overlooked Helston Town. Both carried standard National hives. These two apiaries were my earliest to gather nectar, often in abundance. The river Cober runs in the valley below both apiaries and has an abundance of trees of all kinds, down to the sea. They also have access to the usual range of town flowering trees and shrubs. All the usual flowers can be found in the hedgerows of the local farm land. I used two labels: one the obvious “Helston Honey”, the other “Honey from Helston” to distinguish them for the two retailers. Generally each apiary provides one label but you would be hard put to distinguish the honey by taste, so long as it was from the same time. Spring honey is darker with a more robust flavour, whilst summer honey is more delicate and light. I passed these apiaries to my friend Rodger Dewhurst in 2007.

My nearest apiary on Godolphin Hill has some tall hives.

Godolphin Hill

I had 3 (now 2) apiaries around Godolphin Hill, the “Honey Mountain”. One was within walking distance of home and I could sometimes be seen on the road with my bee suit and smoker before and after as simple operation like checking the “take” of a set of grafts or popping back with an additional super. Having vacated the field as it was for sale, I kept a few at home, primarily for my queen rearing activities which are economically carried out close by. Two of these apiaries have some tall-bodied brood chambers for my unusually tall frames (14" square). On the picture you can see two of these were made up from a National brood chamber (medium) and a super (shallow) instead of the super-Jumbo (deep). (The standard and fairly widely used National “Jumbo” is designed for 14"x8" frames). The label “Godolphin Hill” is used for these honeys. If there is a demand for Breage honey I cannot meet, I also use the “Breage Honey” label with the description modified to say the honey comes from bees hived in the parish of Breage, in which these apiaries stand.

Forage includes heather and blueberry on Godolphin and Tregonning hills. There are also several small villages within easy flying range.

The Premium Honeys

These honeys are premium honeys, given they come from specified apiary locations and the honey is not blended with any other honey, save from another hive in the apiary. Whenever possible, honey is separated into spring and summer types and further classes when possible (hawthorn is light in colour but rather more viscous than the light bramble-rich honey of summer proper). The honey is widely recognised for its quality and flavour and is sought after by locals and visitors alike.

Rent for my apiaries is one pound jar per hive, greatly appreciated by the land-owners. One, a farmer, reports improved health on taking my honey and comb.

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