Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), 2019 was a wonderful year here for beekeeping. The weather suited the bees perfectly, our hives have been strong, there was a bumper crop of honey, and many visitors enjoyed the experience of our observation hive.

The image in the banner shows two jars of our honey, which claimed first prize in a competition entered by our beekeepers.

This winning jars were from a darker crop of honey, but as you can see below, the colour of the honey from our hives varies greatly.

This special set of honey is from 7 different hives based here, each harvested last August, plus a piece of honey comb from one of our hives. There may be an opportunity to buy this set at a fundraising auction in the near future!

Our beekeeper and hives were featured once again in a delightful BBC World Service radio programme, Praise bee, in their Heart and Soul series, which looked at beekeeping in Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

In November, as the first cold weather started to bite, our beekeepers again used their thermal camera to look at the observation hives:


Hives 1 (left) and 2 (right)

Khalil explained what we’re seeing: “In hive 1 we can see the bees are quite clearly clustered in the top brood box. In hive 2 we can see some heat being radiated from the roof; this tells me I need to add some roof insulation. It will be interesting to see how things change during the winter.”

Looking ahead to 2020, we hope insha’Allah (God-willing) that it’s another good year for the bees. We’re looking at ways of enhancing the visitor experience. And our beekeepers may offer some beekeeping courses in the summer – watch this space!