Sunday, 15 February 2015

New website

New website - Check it out! We'd love to know what you think...

Monday, 26 May 2014

Honeybee Cut-Out in Barn Cavity Wall

I was called to extract some honeybees from a cavity wall in Astwick which had settled in and been living in the barn rent free for a year. First I removed the exterior cladding to reveal the honeycomb beneath. A beautiful patch of brood and comb can be seen in the centre. Lovely stuff.

I then placed the comb into prepared frames ready to relocate the honeybee colony into a hive. 

Here is a picture of my Dad holding the Queen in a clip. We found her right at the end. Lucky last.

Here is a picture of the hive right next to the cavity wall. The Queen is inside and the honeybees will soon follow her. Over the course of the next couple of days the complete colony will be settled into the hive. I'll come back late in the evening after they've all retired for the night and relocate them - leaving no bees behind. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Cardona and son's New website

For those of you who haven't seen our first ever website - Check it out! We'd love to know what you think...

Monday, 21 April 2014

Another Colony Saved. Bee Removal from Bedroom Ceiling...

This kind of removal is known as a cut out. By cutting a hole in the ceiling I was able to remove the colony piece by piece. The owner of the property will have to get a builder in to replace the plasterboard and plaster over the hole. 

 Each piece of comb which had brood in it was then placed in pre-prepared frames held together by elastic. This gives the bees their brood back once I rehome them in a hive. 


This bit of honeycomb came down with the plasterboard

I removed eight frames of brood in total from the cavity and about 6 lbs of honey stores. There was room in the cavity for them to expand into but this colony would have more than likely swarmed in the next month.

I found the Queen about 40 minutes into the job. I was chuffed to bits. She was a nice, light brown looking Queen. Here is a picture of me holding her in the clip - knowing that she was safe and sound and I had her under control was the biggest part of the job done. 

Once I had the Queen it was easy to then entice all her offspring and worker bees into the hive. This is a image of the hive with combs inside and the Queen clip at the entrance. The other bees are attracted to her pheromones and will naturally gather wherever she is. This is why its so important to capture the Queen safely without squashing or hurting her. It makes the whole process a lot calmer and methodical. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Honey Bee Swarms are on their way to Herts and Beds...

Swarming season is set to arrive early this year due to the unusually warm Winter in Herts and Beds. If honeybee swarms are not dealt with quickly and efficiently they soon find a more permanent home – usually in a loft, chimney or wall cavity.
Many pest control companies who are called to deal with honeybee  infestations terminate them – this is unnecessary and detrimental to our local bee population. Instead, we urge anyone who finds a swarm, whether in their home or in the local community to call an experienced bee-keeper!

Cardona & Son are different, we save bees. We patiently collect and extract  the bees and re-home them back into the local area, safely into hives, ready to make beautiful local honey.

Here are our top tips for what to do if you’re faced with a swarm....

-          Don’t panic! Swarming bees are less likely to sting or attack as they are not defending a hive
-          However, for safety, keep pets and children out of the immediate area until you have sought advice
-          Call an experienced bee-keeper – Aim to  have the swarm collected as soon as possible to avoid infestation which may be more costly to remove

-          Don’t assume they will just go away by themselves!

If you need any advice on swarms - feel free to give Andre a call on 07958 655962

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Introduction to Beekeeping - course dates 2014

Hands up, who wants to take up beekeeping in 2014? We thought you might like to hear about the experience of one of our 2013 students, Simon. (See below...)

Let us know via email if you would like to come and join in - we offer beginner one day taster courses from £95 pp (Max group size 4) and can also provide one-to-one training, set-up and ongoing support - which is what Simon went for.

Available dates for our taster courses are May 24th and July 12th  -

We look forward to hearing from you!

Andre and Jane


As an interested but completely un-initiated wannabee (geddit?), I was slightly downhearted about the traditional path to beekeepery that suggested I would have to spend many hours.. a scarce resource in my life, over many weeks learning about the intricacies of the hive before I could embark on my own apirarism.

Fascinated by the little blighters, It had long been a habit of mine to approach bees - particularly bumble bees - and stroke their enticing hairy backs.. a child brought up with animals and - yes, an apiary run by my late grandfather I was always content to stare at the comings and goings of hive bees from a couple of feet away, safe in the knowledge that they wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t bother them and that I was unlikely to be interrupted by anyone (especially my family who considered the next door garden to be a little/a lot close for comfort).

So, it was certainly on my bucket list but not on my short-term radar as us denizens of office based employment are won’t to describe it.  Imagine my joy then to be recommended to a gentle giant of a man who would teach me what I needed to know to get started and set me up with the wherewithal.  "A neat thought”, I thought.. but how good can this be?  Surely, too to be true!  However, on the recommendation of a friend who had taken the plunge, I picked up the phone on a what-the-hell basis and have never looked back.

Andre Cardona took me gently by my metaphorical hand and led me through the simile of the tangled undergrowth that is the care and husbandry of the (literal) colony.  His knowledge and skill, evident from the start, were both comforting and reassuring.  After a session or two following him around and getting real hands-on experience of hive inspections, queen identification, marking etc. etc. we spent a number of what seemed fleet hours discussing the finer points and preparing for the arrival of my own first hive.  Illustrated with his own pictures, Andre’s explanations of the complexities of hive life and the various basic points were joyful and thankfully not complex.. As well as his excellent company (a man you’ll never forget once met), he prepared me well for the day when, bumping and grinding down my road in his trusty Volvo, he appeared complete with my first hive and colony, my hive tool, bee book and super frames.  Enrolling me in the BBKA - a great move, was the icing on the cake and I really have never looked back.  Although still a beginner (i think you always are), I have kept my bees in good condition and happy - as far as I can tell.  Supported always by Andre’s friendly voice on hand to answer any tricky ones, I have had the most joyous time with my bees (I’m still trying to find names for them all) and relish in the thought that I am helping to support such a vital and charming animal in its sometimes perilous existence in modern Britain.

Go on.. you know you want to! 


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Bumper Honey Crop....

After what could only be described as a pretty dire lead up to this Summer for our bees -  a rainy end to the season in 2012, bitterly cold Winter and snowy April -  we have been pleasantly suprised by our best honey harvest yet this season.

Many hours have been spent filling jars full of lovely honey and it seems that all the hard work has finally paid off. (clever bees too obviously...)

As has been widely reported in the press, the prolonged and coldest Winter for over 50 years brought with it big losses of bee colonies. We've thankfully managed to replenish the colonies we lost over the Winter and feel positive about the year ahead.

On another brighter note, more and more of you are taking up beekeeping! We've been busy over the last couple of months training up families and businesses to keep their own hives and have enjoyed hearing about their own first harvests and successes. 

If anyone would like more info on learning more about beekeeping - please get in touch with Andre on 07958 655962 or

Hope you're all enjoying this lovely Summer,

Jane x