It's been a busy summer here at the farm with lots of projects on the go. Work on the cidery building is almost complete - we'll be working away this long weekend, finishing up the framing and insulating in the cellar room. Note to self: next time you're planning an insulating project, don't do it in the middle of a heatwave in July!
In cider news, we've finished up some cider trials and are inspired by the results. The trial is a single varietal Crimson Crisp apple, known for it's white wine like qualities and rich flavour with good sugar/acid ratio.The finished cider has a tropical nose with notes of mango and melon, great body and well balanced acidity.
Windswept & Orchard Springs Crimson Crisp Cider Trials
And in the apiary, we conducted another hive inspection this week and were relieved to find eggs and brood in the brood nest which means there is a laying queen. We were concerned that the hive might be queenless - which is not good news! During one of our spring inspections, there were some queen cups that were accidentally squished, which would mean that none of the potential queens the bees were raising in case of a swarm wouldn't mature to take over the hive. Within a week or two of the mishap, the hive was definitely defensive and when we tried to open the hive, they let out a huge roar and we weren't able to locate any eggs in the brood nest. All clues which can indicate that a hive is queen less.
Capped Honey and Emerging Brood at Windswept Apiary
But thankfully we did find evidence of a queen with eggs, larva and brood all in various stages of growth. This time next year we'll be gearing up for our first honey harvest. These hives being new this year, we'll leave all of the honey stores for the bees as it takes a full year to build up a healthy hive.