I have two aims with this blog; one long term and one short term. Initially this blog will be tracking my progress in trying to make one jar of honey in the year 2010. It is the simple aims like this that I aspire to each year and this just about encapsulates my aim for 2010. There have been many silly aims before this; trying to learn Italian, trying to learn the piano, making the Heston Blumenthal Chilli (takes about a week to make!); but I am definatley set on making this one a success.

There is also the long term aim. I am writing this blog to plot progress in the garden and my own progress learning about bees. It is there as a record for my son who is only 14 months old at the time of writing. It is there so he can see that his father is a slightly mad but loving father who only wants to teach him about the world and where everything comes from. I suppose, very importantly, this blog is being written to also highlight the plight of the bee and the hard time it is having at the moment. I also hope that it will serve as a manual for budding beekeepers to follow as well. Having now started on the way to becoming a beekeeper I have found that research can be difficult and most books written about the subject are rather text book style and rather traditional in outlook. I want to personalise it all and make it real.

I have one major character flaw (I suppose it is a flaw?) in that when I set my mind to something I start to obsess about it morning, noon and night. This is the same in my personal and professional life much to the annoyance of my dear wife, Jo. Professionally I work hard and long hours, travelling often and it can be stressful. However, I love what I do and enjoy the work and always strive to push forward. Personally, the garden is my passion, having started seriously about a year and a half ago.

I have often said about gardening, to less green fingered souls (of which there are many within my generation who just look at me quite strangely when I bring up the topic of flowers), just start out with a  small two metre patch and plant a few bulbs in Autumn. This is exactly what I did and look what kind of a mess it has got me into! I couldn’t believe that such beauty could be created from just a mass of brown bulb. I was also struck by its simplicity and that for the first time I was able to drag my brain away from the stresses of work. Since then I have read almost everything I could on the subject and pondered many an evening away visualising what I can do and what I would love to do with a large garden.

I suppose it is therefore a natural step to take on beekeeping. I became passionate about the garden which then led on to growing my own vegetables (with the help of a bit of my famers field) which then led onto a need to understand how everything got pollinated. I can already feel the passion growing inside me for these little black and yellow creatures and as yet I have not set foot within a mile of a hive.

It is hard not to get passionate about these creatures when you hear facts like “a bee will fly 55,000 miles to make just one pound of honey which is the equivalent of flying 1 ½ times around the world” or that just one hive will have approximately 60,000 bees during the summer months. These creatures are amazing.

Anyway, I hope you will join my journey of fact finding, honey making and getting stung every so often.