Hello and welcome to Ali G’s Bees blog. Those of you who know me well will say two things: I chatter (a lot) and I smile (a lot too). I’ll try and control my crazy jibber-jabber here … but I’m making no promises …
I’m Ali G. The beekeeper not the comedian. I was Ali G first, but his moustache is better than mine, I’m relieved to say! I’m happily married to Cliff and we share our home with the boys, our Golden Retrievers, George and Xander. As beekeepers the boys are rubbish but they fill our lives with joy.
It’s fair to say that life is far from ordinary in the Grainger hood. Far from ordinary, and I’m sure that friends and family must wonder what craziness we’ll get ourselves into next. We try to never disappoint. We aim to please.
Honey bees? So what’s all that about? Believe it or not, before we started keeping bees and tasted our own honey, neither of us ate the it. Didn’t like it. Horrible stuff. You must believe me when I say that pure honey like ours, artisan honey if you will, bears no resemblance to the pasteurised, blended sticky stuff you find on the supermarket shelves. It’s like comparing full fat Coca Cola with a bottle of 29p cola: they’re the same colour, they share a name, but that’s where the resemblance ends.
We got our first hive in late summer 2016. Just the one hive so that we could learn how to look after these incredible creatures. Cliff’s octogenarian step-dad Ron kept bees in his garden. It was fascinating watching them working (albeit through the window initially.) When we got braver, we’d sit in his garden on a sunny day, watching the bees while Ron regaled us with tales of his bees’ derring-do. Although not worthy of a Netflix movie, Ron had us hooked.
Fast forward to autumn 2018. We now have an apiary with 11 hives and plans for the future. Bees. The pollinators. We must look after them. Ali G’s Bees are a happy, friendly bunch and we do everything we can to keep it that way. We’ve even given our bees their very own water feature at the apiary and the other animals in the vicinity took full advantage of it during the summer. When I say ‘water feature’ it’s not something you’d want on your patio but the bees love it. I might treat you to sight of it in a future blog so please stay with us.
I’ll also give some insights into the art of beekeeping and the mysterious world of the honey bee too.
I’m sure we’ve all seen beekeepers in an Agatha Christie movie, hood over face, gliding graciously around the hive and puffing plumes of white smoke seemingly at random, not a bee in sight. A quintessential English garden scene, rather like the village Bobby out on his boneshaker bike, cycle clips round his trousers, tunic buttoned up to the neck, and silver topped helmet on his head. I think they call it poetic licence. I hate to shatter that illusion but beekeeping can be challenging. The sense of rising panic when you realise a bee has somehow joined you inside your hood is never to be forgotten.
But that’s a story for another blog. If I’ve piqued your interest, please join me again.
Beekeeping. What a malarkey!