Julian Fitzherbert (Bruce 76)

Julian writes, “Well you asked…! 2021 was the year I married off my daughter, hatched about ten Queen Bees in an incubator, captured a swarm and increased my apiary from two to eight hives. 

So, the year started with looking after my bees during the cold winter as they need to be fed sugar fondant to avoid starvation – especially if you’ve harvested honey the previous year. We hadn’t, but they still needed feeding until the nectar flowed. By spring, the bees were out and about and an expanding colony was moved into the horizontal hive I’d built over the winter (see picture of me with hive and dog). Over the summer, new hives were started to prevent existing hives from swarming and for a swarm captured from a wild colony in the chimney (inactive chimney and no bother to us). All this bee effort was to try and produce enough honey to give as gifts to guests at my daughter’s wedding. We got some but it’s been a poor year for honey as it was a late spring. 

My daughter got married at Frant Church, where my wife and I married in 1985. Her goddaughter was the flower girl and her dog the ring bearer. The reception was nearby at Wadhurst Castle (see picture) and we had a red double decker bus to take guests from the castle to the church and back again. Thankfully, Covid restrictions had lifted so we had the full complement of guests in church and at the reception, though everyone tested on the day to be safe. It was a lovely wedding and the highlight of my year. Sadly, my daughter and her husband’s honeymoon to Borneo did not happen due to Covid restrictions and a family holiday to Turkey was cancelled due to same restrictions and forest fires. But, we did manage a couple of getaways in England to the Cotswolds Water Park and the New Forest.”