IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BEES 
It has been an extraordinarily busy year but very good for all that. Who knew that I could be involved in an international study of bees, stand markets, be in demand to give talks, run a crowd funding campaign, have a column in a local paper, devised a new website with a shop, be interviewed on the radio, develop a brand and new products – all less than twelve short months That is not including my other interests and obligations. 
It has been an extraordinarily busy year but very good for all that. Who knew that I could be involved in an international study of bees, stand markets, be in demand to give talks, run a crowd funding campaign, have a column in a local paper, devised a new website with a shop, be interviewed on the radio, develop a brand and new products – all less than twelve short months? That is not including my other interests and obligations. 
 
A big thank you needs to the folks that crowd funded me. It gave me a moral lift as well as a financial one. 
 
 
 
 
 
The crowd funding gave me the monies to get my “tank room” moving. This was a key step in building the infrastructure for the business. 
 
My operation centre is on a farm. The farmer had recently closed his diary business which made the milking parlour redundant. My tank room was just that, the room that contained the bulk milk holding tank for the diary. When I took it over for my honey extraction facility I kept the name “Tank Room” and to be fair in does still contain tanks, just smaller honey related tanks. 
The tank room has a massive advantage over a shed or container for a honey processing facility in that it was already prepared as a food handling venue and has water and electric installed. I had to make a few adjustments to the water and electrical arrangements to suit my needs. The big effort was to build a room within a room. The room within a room is the warming room. This is where the newly harvested supers go to keep them warm to prevent the honey solidifying and keep it out of the way of the local forager bees. It also serves to keep the buckets of extracted and filtered honey in a frost free condition prior to bottling. 
The second stage of the operation centre is under way. The milking parlour is being converted into storage bays for renting. As the bay adjacent to the tank room is an odd shape and it is next to my tank room I have shaken hands on deal to rent that space. Shortly I will have all my bee keeping resources in one place that is close to my home. 
 
I am quite proud that I have “boot strapped” my way to a moderately sized honey processing facility. Bee farming and honey processing requires a great deal of investment. Equipment is expensive and there are very few suppliers. What would I do without Gumtree, Ebay and the Bee Farmer Association journal? 
2015 will have a different set of challenges. Not least getting enough money together to attend the BFA trip to Spain to see how they keep bees, the problems they face and how they overcome them. A bit of sunshine would not go amiss either. 
 
I have pledged to blog more in 2015 than in 2014. The new website supports a blog and you can still follow me on Twitter and Facebook for new products and my everyday trials and tribulations in bee farming. 
Tagged as: Review
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