Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Clabber & Increasing bee stocks

I had being reading up on making clabber for a few weeks so I started an experimental batch last week.
It seemed easy enough. Pour filtered fresh raw milk into a clean jar and cover with a breathable lid and leave out at room temperature for several days until it thickens into clabber.

Nothing happened for several days and then I checked it yesterday and as you can see from the photo; the curd and whey have separated with a firm cream line.

The mould when I took off the lid was disturbing!
I scoped this out and stirred. It had thickened up like yogurt. You can see the whey settled at the bottom.
It smells very sour and I'm not brave enough to taste it.

From what I have read, it is recommended as a cheese culture starter for cheese making, to be drank as it is as a lactose-fermented drink and as an animal food.  I think I need to research this one further!

We attended our local beekeeping meeting last night. There was great concern about the amount of loses. Beekeepers have lost up to 75% of their hives this winter and as a result there will be no honey available this coming season as beekeepers will be putting all their efforts into building back up strong colonies instead of honey producton.
They were urging us to rear excess queens and nuc's for the association to help the bees. It would seem that it will not be possible for beginners this year to source a hive of bees to get started as all over wintered nuc's have been wiped out. Although quiet depressing, it cheered us up as our losses of 2 out of 3 hives now seem relative. We are now very encouraged to try queen rearing. Although last year we made several splits we have never tried queen incubation and apidea boxes, rather leaving that to the pro's but it would seem that all and any efforts are necessary now.


  1. This bee situation is really getting bad isn't it. I think it's high time the government pulled out all stops to help bee keepers and farmers to turn this situation around before it's too late.

  2. The bee problem is really scarey, but the city people ie big business really don't "get it"....I hope yours continue to do OK , and you can raise a few queens. Thanks for your enjoyable posts!

  3. I think that they chose to not 'get it'!
    But I also think that things are changing for the better.
    Economically I think that in a few decades big business will decline, which will see a growth in local business and enterprise ( and maybe even a value for family life again). This would empower people again.
    Here hoping ;-) maybe in my life time! The alternative is scarey..


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