10% OFF - Sign up to our newsletter here

By appointment
checkout.back menu basket basket

story

Two years ago, Richard O’Sullivan, a headteacher by day, was inspired to set up a series of bee hives in the grounds of his farmhouse in Yorkshire.

Spacing half

Here he explains why beekeeping is incredibly rewarding, and how this increasingly popular pastime has given him a greater appreciation of the environment and the complexities of the natural world.

Spacing half

HLH 1

Spacing half

What inspired you to take up beekeeping?

Spacing half

I have had a love of nature and the outdoors since I was a small child. I can remember picking blackberries and looking for bids nests with my Grandparents. My brother is an expert beekeeper and his enthusiasm and enjoyment has been infectious.

Spacing half

How did you go about setting up your hives?

Spacing half

The beekeeping community is very supportive; I was fortunate to get plenty of advice from experienced beekeepers and members of the Halifax Beekeepers Association.

Spacing half

How do you harvest the honey?

Spacing half

Harvesting the honey is the highlight of the beekeeper’s year and is a family event for us. One third of the honey stays with the bees to get them through the winter. The remaining frames of honey are taken from the hive and the wax coverings are removed with a knife. The frame is then put into a honey extractor which is basically a drum that the frames fit into. This then spins at high speed and the honey is spun out and drains to the bottom of the extractor. The honey can then be filtered and bottled.

Spacing half

HLH 2

Spacing half

Have you had any bad experiences? Any angry bees?

Spacing half

All beekeepers get stung from time to time. Usually when you try to rush and take short cuts! Bees are like people in that different hives have different personalities and you learn to be more cautious around the grumpy ones. Beekeepers also try to breed from their calmer colonies. The most disconcerting experience is realising that there are bees on the inside of your veil and that you have not fastened your suit properly.

Spacing half

HLH 3

Spacing half

Why beekeeping, over anything else?

Spacing half

Beekeeping is incredibly rewarding and strangely relaxing. It is important to encourage insects and pollinators because they are an essential part of the natural world and sadly their numbers are in decline. I also like honey!

Spacing half

Has working with bees changed the way you think about nature and the environment?

Spacing half

Working with bees has given me a greater appreciation of how amazing and complex the natural world is. A colony of bees is organised like a small town. Each bee has a job to do and they progress from job to job as they become more experienced. They are incredible architects and engineers their comb is constructed with perfect precision each cell being exactly the correct shape and size. Within this small town bees have perfect connectivity that is far more effective than the best internet. The bees decide what to build and when to build it. They decide if they need more workers or even a new Queen and they decide if they are going to swarm or not.

Spacing half

HLH 4

Do you have plans to sell the honey?

Spacing half

Not this year- too busy eating it!

Spacing

Richard wears the Men’s Balmoral Technical Side Zip Wellington Boot, a hard-wearing boot updated with a flexible and lightweight Vibram® sole, exclusively designed for Hunter. This style features a side zip with a gusset for waterproofing and a magnetic fastening.

Engineered to protect, the Hunter Field collection offers a range of technical boots, designed to be worn across all terrains.

Shop the full collection.

Close Video
Hunter Boots Green Men's Balmoral Technical Zip Wellington Boots

MEN'S BALMORAL TECHNICAL ZIP WELLINGTON BOOTS

£245