Three Brothers Garden

Three Brothers Garden Our family journey to cultivate a suburban garden for sustainability, biodiversity, beauty, and joy

It’s now six months since the summer honey harvest season of 2023 ☀️Our Flow Hives make it so incredibly easy. Pouring h...
27/01/2024

It’s now six months since the summer honey harvest season of 2023 ☀️

Our Flow Hives make it so incredibly easy. Pouring honey straight from the hive means we’re blessed to harvest honey is it’s rawest and most natural form, and most importantly with minimal interference to the bees that have crafted it 🐝

Winter may still be far from over, but we can’t help but get excited about turning the handles on our Flow Hives again, six months from now! 🍯

Poised for spring - two of our Flow Hives safely strapped down and waiting patiently to see what nectar 2024 will delive...
12/01/2024

Poised for spring - two of our Flow Hives safely strapped down and waiting patiently to see what nectar 2024 will deliver!

We’ve always overwintered our 8-frame Flow Hives on single brood boxes. But inspired by we’re giving double brood a trial this winter.

It means more space for winter stores and growth in spring, but in the middle of a cold snap such as this, it also means more space for the bees to keep warm. We’re looking forward to seeing how the bees build up in the months ahead! 🐝

As the afternoon light fades on 2023 there’s time to make one last check on the bees. We’ve had phenomenal wind and rain...
31/12/2023

As the afternoon light fades on 2023 there’s time to make one last check on the bees. We’ve had phenomenal wind and rain in recent days and it’s a relief to find every colony still has a roof on top!

Thank you to all those who have supported us in the last 12 months. Happy new year! 🐝🙁

It’s the winter solstice today, and as of tomorrow bee hives across the northern hemisphere will be noticing the increas...
22/12/2023

It’s the winter solstice today, and as of tomorrow bee hives across the northern hemisphere will be noticing the increasing daylight ☀️

It’s just one of many signals that colonies use to sense the onset of spring and begin that all important spring build up 🐝

Incredibly, it means we’re now only 6 months away from the first honey harvests of 2024, and more photos of capped honey like this! 🍯

As 100% Flow Hive beekeepers we don’t produce many wooden honey frames at all, but we do love the versatility of our Hybrid supers which means we still get to enjoy harvesting honey the traditional way.

Local honey! 🍯Yesterday we made another delivery of our bee-kind Surrey Hills honey to  on Cranleigh High Street.Our Thr...
01/11/2023

Local honey! 🍯

Yesterday we made another delivery of our bee-kind Surrey Hills honey to on Cranleigh High Street.

Our Three Brothers honey sits on the shelf amongst a variety of other wonderful local honeys - plenty of choice for the discerning customer!

Playing with the light as we prepare another delivery of our Surrey Hills honey 🍯A wonderful reminder of summer as autum...
22/09/2023

Playing with the light as we prepare another delivery of our Surrey Hills honey 🍯

A wonderful reminder of summer as autumn knocks at the door outside! 🍂

A lazy afternoon pouring honey straight from the hive. No mess and no stress… we love our Flow Hives! 🍯🐝                ...
23/07/2023

A lazy afternoon pouring honey straight from the hive. No mess and no stress… we love our Flow Hives! 🍯🐝

Don’t forget, new larger 340g jars of our Cranleigh pure honey now in stock  on the high street 🍯Freshly poured from our...
20/07/2023

Don’t forget, new larger 340g jars of our Cranleigh pure honey now in stock on the high street 🍯

Freshly poured from our Flow Hives with minimum disturbance to our bees, this new season honey is as local and as bee-kind as it gets!

Two sides of beekeeping… A wonderful laying pattern from a new 2023 queen on fresh, naturally drawn comb, and… uh oh… wh...
19/07/2023

Two sides of beekeeping…

A wonderful laying pattern from a new 2023 queen on fresh, naturally drawn comb, and… uh oh… what’s going on here then?!

We have some news! ‼️Keen followers may have noticed that this spring we’ve grown from a single apiary to three! 🥉As suc...
18/07/2023

We have some news! ‼️

Keen followers may have noticed that this spring we’ve grown from a single apiary to three! 🥉

As such we’re delighted to let you know that our 227g jars of Surrey Hills pure honey are now available crafted by our honeybees in three different locations - Cranleigh, Rowly and Shamley Green!

You can pre-order through our website (local delivery is free!), and of course you can also pick up a jar of our Cranleigh honey at and

Sometimes you have to look backwards to move forwards…One of hives recently developed a distinctly grumpy trait, and des...
17/07/2023

Sometimes you have to look backwards to move forwards…

One of hives recently developed a distinctly grumpy trait, and despite a variety of attempts to cheer them up, last week we decided it was time to requeen the colony.

Historically we’ve always introduced new queens very slowly and cautiously, but on this occasion we used a method described in an article written in 1952 by Brother Adam. He advocated that requeening a hive was more a case of a quick ‘substitution’ than it was protracted process of replacement.

The process: take a nuc with a young but established queen, pop the lid and expose it to the light. Meanwhile, remove the old queen from the troublesome hive, as well as the middle four frames from the brood nest.

In their place, gently drop four frames from the donor nuc, including the new queen surrounded by her own bees. Wait 5-10 mins before closing up the hive, and you’re done!

We weren’t at all sure what to expect, but this weekend we were chuffed to fine the new queen happily on the throne in her new colony, and the temperament of her bees already markedly better.

Checking up on our nuc colonies, some of which we’ve raised in these homemade paired-nuc boxes. They were a winter proje...
13/07/2023

Checking up on our nuc colonies, some of which we’ve raised in these homemade paired-nuc boxes.

They were a winter project for us, taking standard 10-frame Langstroth brood boxes bought in the winter sale, and then splicing them in two to create two 4-frame nuc boxes that sit on the footprint of our 8-frame Flow Hives.

The beauty of vertical nucs means we need less space in our apiaries, and for early spring splits, we can use the warmth of the mother colony beneath to assist the nucs above.

We’ve now started off a dozen or so nucs in these boxes, before moving the colonies into larger boxes in due course.

And with the taps now fully open on the summer nectar flow, we’re even using pairs of our youngest nucs to fill a single Flow Hive super above! 🍯

As long as a queen excluder is place to stop the two queens interacting, the bees from two separate colonies will work together quite happily on the shared super on top 🐝

Our girls were such a hit at   last week. We loved sharing a little insight into how their world works with these inquis...
12/07/2023

Our girls were such a hit at last week. We loved sharing a little insight into how their world works with these inquisitive, engaged children.

We were asked great questions all day; how many boyfriends does the Queen have? Which flowers are the bees’ favourites? How do the bees know where to go?…. What would you ask?

A first for us - school visits with our observation hive! 🐝👀Last week we visited two local primary schools and it was a ...
09/07/2023

A first for us - school visits with our observation hive! 🐝👀

Last week we visited two local primary schools and it was a real privilege to talk bees with a couple of hundred school children.

Of course the real highlights were queen spotting through the window, and honey tasting! 🍯

A big shout out to for producing such a fantastic observation nuc for us!

Stop press! ‼️ We’re incredibly excited to announce that this season we are offering our honey in both 227g and 340g jar...
30/06/2023

Stop press! ‼️ We’re incredibly excited to announce that this season we are offering our honey in both 227g and 340g jars! Available now via our website: threebrothers.garden or on the high street and

We’re proud that our honey is as bee-kind as it comes; using Flow Hive technology our honey harvest is poured straight from the hive with minimal disturbance to our beautiful honey bees. We don’t fiddle about with it so this Surrey Hills foraged honey is as pure as the bees intended.

It’s always a joy to see honeybees out on our street. This one is too dark to be one of ours, so a visitor from elsewher...
29/06/2023

It’s always a joy to see honeybees out on our street. This one is too dark to be one of ours, so a visitor from elsewhere enjoying the white lavender a few doors down 🐝

New season 2023 local honey available to pre-order now! Click through to our website for more details - link in bio.    ...
27/06/2023

New season 2023 local honey available to pre-order now! Click through to our website for more details - link in bio.

Apart from the playgrounds, the walks, the wild bees, the ‘beach’ and of course  and , this our favourite thing about Kn...
26/06/2023

Apart from the playgrounds, the walks, the wild bees, the ‘beach’ and of course and , this our favourite thing about Knowle Park ❤️

Wildflower meadow update 🌼☀️🐝It’s been three months since we handed over about one sixth of the garden to wildflowers, a...
22/06/2023

Wildflower meadow update 🌼☀️🐝

It’s been three months since we handed over about one sixth of the garden to wildflowers, and the results so far have been… reasonable!

The cornflowers have taken very well, but unfortunately the underlying grass grew back very quickly with all rain in April, and is still very much in charge!

We’re looking forward to finding out what else flowers during the summer months ahead, with a view to then starting over again in the autumn - clearing the turf and sowing next year’s seeds before winter arrives.

Every day is a school day!

It’s always a total joy to make new local connections - a big shout out to Heartwork Coffee brewing the finest beans at ...
20/06/2023

It’s always a total joy to make new local connections - a big shout out to Heartwork Coffee brewing the finest beans at Cranleigh at Knowle Park!

Great to meet you yesterday 🙂🐝☕️

Monday morning in the garden - watching the nectar flow into the bee hives, and two more dragonflies emerging - can you ...
05/06/2023

Monday morning in the garden - watching the nectar flow into the bee hives, and two more dragonflies emerging - can you see them?

Knowle Park is open! And what a space it promises to be.Naturally we’re thrilled to see so much of the park given over t...
28/05/2023

Knowle Park is open! And what a space it promises to be.

Naturally we’re thrilled to see so much of the park given over to wildflower meadows, both established and newly seeded, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how the land matures in time.

We know some honeybees who are no doubt regular visitors already! 🐝

A huge well done and thank you to all at the for helping to create an incredible green space for Cranleigh.

Hello, honey! 🍯Very exciting to see our Flow Hives filling up with honey. After a soggy start to spring, our bees are no...
23/05/2023

Hello, honey! 🍯

Very exciting to see our Flow Hives filling up with honey. After a soggy start to spring, our bees are now reaping the rewards with plenty of nectar coming in.

Once in the hive, the bees work hard to reduce the moisture content of the nectar by storing it in open cells.

Once it’s down to about 18% moisture they then seal the cells closed with a beautiful white wax - and it’s officially honey! 🐝

Stop press! We’re thrilled that  have today launched a second ice cream flavour made with Three Brothers Honey - Greek Y...
20/05/2023

Stop press! We’re thrilled that have today launched a second ice cream flavour made with Three Brothers Honey - Greek Yogurt, Watermelon and Honey! 🍯🍦🍉

We couldn’t resist dropping into the store this afternoon for a taste test… and it’s a stunner! Absolutely delicious. Well done team, we’re mighty impressed - it may even give Honey & Ginger a run for its money!

The middle of May. Possibly our favourite time of year in the garden!
18/05/2023

The middle of May. Possibly our favourite time of year in the garden!

At this time of year the days go by so quick! This colony has now almost completely filled out the second brood box we g...
13/05/2023

At this time of year the days go by so quick! This colony has now almost completely filled out the second brood box we gave them two weeks ago… which means it’s time to split!

Splitting a colony into two smaller colonies helps reduce the bees temptation to swarm, in part by replicating a swarm itself.

This spring we’re making vertical splits using the double screen boards we made over winter.

In the bottom box remains the queen, plus half of the bees. On top of this we place a super, giving the bees below heaps of space to continue growing into - and store honey! 🍯

The double screen board is then placed on top, with the second box of bees above. These bees will now raise a new queen of their own, and it won’t be long before we have second thriving colony in place.

What’s with the five of diamonds? As the bees in the top box become adjusted to using their new front door, it serves as a useful sign post to home!

It’s apple blossom time! With a bit of luck we hope to enjoy Granny Smiths apples from this tree come the autumn 🍏Now if...
29/04/2023

It’s apple blossom time! With a bit of luck we hope to enjoy Granny Smiths apples from this tree come the autumn 🍏

Now if only we had some pollinators about… 🐝

Fresh comb! 14 days ago this was an empty frame, and two weeks on the bees have almost completely drawn it out with fres...
18/04/2023

Fresh comb! 14 days ago this was an empty frame, and two weeks on the bees have almost completely drawn it out with fresh wax.

We don’t use starter foundation either, which makes discovering new combs like this all the more remarkable.

Queen bees seem to be particularly attracted to fresh wax, and as you can see this frame has already been laid full of eggs. Look closely for what look like tiny grains of rice in the bottom of the cells! 🐝

Believe it or not, this frame likely holds just shy of 7000 individual cells. That’s a lot of baby bees, or honey! 🍯

And we’re in business! 🐝It’s felt like a long, cold winter but we’re delighted that all of our colonies have made it thr...
13/04/2023

And we’re in business! 🐝

It’s felt like a long, cold winter but we’re delighted that all of our colonies have made it through to spring, and early hive inspections have begun!

At this stage we’re lifting the lid on our colonies to check for a laying queen, adequate food stores, room to expand, plus any pests or diseases.

Thankfully all the hard work of last autumn has paid off, and the hives are in tip top condition, with plenty of brood - phew! 🐝

But now the hard work really begins. With warm and settled weather in the forecast, these girls will soon have only one thing in mind - swarming! 😲

We’ll post regular updates over the coming weeks to show how we try deter the swarm impulse and build our bees for the 2023 summer honey harvest! 🍯

Honey is in the news again!  is reporting on a Cardiff University study into the potential benefits of honey as a “drug ...
11/04/2023

Honey is in the news again! is reporting on a Cardiff University study into the potential benefits of honey as a “drug discovery tool” in the search for new antibiotics.

The natural health benefits of local honey have, of course, for been well known for many millennia. Worth remembering as we approach hay fever season!

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