It’s Pancake Day and a good reason to crack open a new jar of honey to enjoy with your pancakes.
What you need are:
1 litre/2 Pint Pirex jug
pinch salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice
Sieve the plain flour into the Pirex jug until about 1/3 full. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Crack 2 eggs into flour and pour in a bit of milk. Beat with a fork until you have a thick paste and then keep adding milk and beat, add more milk and keep beating until the pancake mix is the consistency of single cream. When it is this consistency you should have nearly a full pirex jug.
Place jug in fridge for a minimum 1/2 hour
When ready to make pancakes – heat a frying pan with a little oil in it. As it gets hot swill oil about pan and then tip the oil away. You just want pan greased not swimming in oil. Pour pancake mix into hot frying pan, so you have about a 4 inch circle of mix in the centre. Swill pan about so the mix spreads across the whole frying pan. Leave on heat until top side of pancake mix is not runny anymore.
Pancake should now be cooked on one side and you will be able to turn or flip it. Flip it over and cook the other side for a couple of minutes. If you need to give first side a bit more just re flip and give it a few more seconds cooking.
Tip: first pancake is never the best one, so you eat and enjoy it whilst you prepare the others.
To serve: place pancake on a warmed plate, squeeze some lemon juice over it and drizzle a line of honey across the pancake. Roll the pancake and serve. Bootiful !! as they say in Norfolk
Sorry no photos of pancakes and honey !! But some honey pics to wet your appetite !
With it mild this afternoon, I had quick look at all my hives to check for fondant levels. I cannot believe how strong they all are. A couple of hives which I had some concerns about are now very strong. I had concerns when I first put fondant on these hives at Christmas and saw very few bees. In both hives, the winter cluster must have been very tight and low down in the brood box. Now the bees are all over the tops of the frames and nicely central in the brood box. I will keep an eye on these two colonies, as if they stay this strong they may well need a super put on, so the hive is 1 1/2 brood boxes.
The other hives which are all on 1 1/2 brood boxes, still look a mess with the burr comb on the tops of the frames. As I blogged in October, a lot of burr comb was built on the frame top bars whilst I treated the hives for varroa mite. With an eke in place the gap was filled by the bees with comb. It looked messy but was filled with capped honey, so I was loathed to clean up and remove what could be winter stores for them. As you can see the bees are now all over this burr comb and seem to have nearly cleaned out the stored honey. Whether they are eating it or taking it down to store in the brood box, at the moment I don’t know. In a month’s time, with this burr comb empty of honey I will clean it up by scraping it off the tops of the frames.
Whilst doing this quick inspection, the odd bee was coming into the hive with pollen. Though the light was not good and I hadn’t a flash with me, I tried grabbing a photo or two. I do wish they would keep still and pose !!
I had plenty of bees flying around the entrance of my hives yesterday. With a bit more warmth, it was time for the bess to get out and cleanse themselves. I also saw a few dead bees outside the hive entrances. Don’t be alarmed if you see dead bees outside the hive. A few will have died during the cold period we have had and at the first opportunity the bees will reject these from the hive. The birds in your garden will soon clean these up.
Good to see snow drops and aconites appearing, this is the first pollen of the season, so you should see your bees bringing it in to the hive. Snowdrop pollen is orange and aconites’ is lime greenish in colour. If pollen is being brought in then your Queen has started laying eggs. Pollen and nectar are not abundant, so your bees will be eating through their stores rapidly. Keep fondant in place on your hives and be ready to get a feeder in place with 2:1 sugar syrup should they need it. Now is the dangerous time for your bees, with the weather changeable, the queen starting to lay and food stores getting low. Your hive management is what will get them through to spring.