2023 beckons...

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Well, Dear Reader,

It's been an interesting year hasn't it ?

I've actually paused proceedings in the world of beekeeping for a few weeks while I celebrate Christmas and New Year with my boys here, which involves eating a lot of popcorn, fajitas, visits to Ten Pin Bowling and, who could resist, a trip to see Gloucester RFC play at home too on NYE.

I think we timed it about right with the events planned as the weather, after a very mild then cold but mild Autumn, finally flipped into rainy and wet days a week ago as the snow melted that fell on 11th December. It looks to be largely the same for the next couple of weeks too into the first weeks of January, although a little colder.

The bees haven't clustered - they were busy out flying last week one afternoon, and this means the fondant will be shortly going on to keep them going until the Spring.

A lot has happened on the bee front this year. At the start I almost felt like packing it in. Due to horrendous work stresses and pressures with my full time job, you may recall my mental health took a turn for the worst but thankfully am on the upward slope now. Thanks to a positive intervention by a local Doctor, and another who felt Beekeeping et al would be a positive way to keep me going instead of being stuck indoors as a lot of people with severe mental health problems find. Therefore they 'prescribed' daily time with the bees to get me going again.

Not that my employers were very helpful - in fact completely the opposite and have remained so, loosing fit notes, claiming non-notification, and a number of other issues besides. Every time I had to deal with them my stress levels rose again and it was actually working some Farmers' Markets in the run up to Christmas that gave me the best boost I needed.

To receive Christmas cards from customers who appreciated my honey, and verbal thanks as well for the quality and taste made me feel so much better about life. Also sharing a laugh with other stall holders, banter if you will, made me realise there is a lot more to life than working 8-6 daily (or longer) for a corporate entity who doesn't really give a stuff about you.

Of course, I'm not one for counting my chickens, and I even feel nervous as I type when I look ahead to 2023 and what it might hold.

Compared with 2021, 2022's trade customers held up and grew. But I am expecting some to drop away and demand to flatten as the financial crunch for a large majority of the population kicks in. Of course one is always hopeful that one's products appeal to the more wealthy end of the customer segments and they don't tend to feel the pinch as much. A good advertising tag line might be to put off getting that new car/holiday/TV this year and spend it on good quality local food instead !

2023 will see me attending Farmers' markets in the first 9 months of the year that I didn't in 2022, along with a number of food festivals and events here and there, I 'think' I can fit them in nicely amongst the general beekeeping calendar, particularly the usually busy months of April, May and June.

2023 will also see a plan that's been forming since early summer where I enter a partnership with a company who owns and operates renewable energy sites across the country. This is part of my business plan for 2023. We're starting small with 7 sites and an additional 70 colonies in the first place. However, if this proof of concept works, then hopefully it'll expand in the years to come.
I forsee entering into partnerships with beekeepers/beefarmers who are more local to some of the sites than I am on a 50/50 basis to manage the bees in nice secure but accessible locations. Either that or I need to recruit an apprentice/trainee !

While some may consider bees on renewables sites as 'green washing' the intention of the company is to use the bees to help monitor the increase in diversity (through pollen analysis) and also change their management practices for grass cutting and increase planting across the sites too. They are in it for the long term and I am eagerly researching the latest automated pollinator monitoring systems that are about to come to market too.

Will all this replace my current income ? It's a bit of a long shot, and no, income will fall in the short term. But with a fair wind, a bit of luck and some planning as well as optimism I really hope for the new ventures to take off and for it to be the springboard I've needed for so long to make the jump from the corporate world.

As to other events in 2023 ? Well I am looking forward to the new Beekeeping Show that's launching in Telford on 25th February. It'll hopefully pick up whether the old Bee Tradex in it's glory days left off. I have decided not to attend the event in Stoneleigh as a result. I also won't have time to attend the BBKA Spring Convention (I think I last went in the 1990s) and I am already worried about diary clashes for the GBKA Auction and the Meon Auction in May.

Let's see what transpires eh ?

Wishing you (and the rest of the forum) a Peaceful and Productive New Year



Latest posts