Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Superdrug bargains!

Lots of bargains to be had at Superdrug at the moment - sets of nails only 99p, new Barry M colours with £1 off if you buy two. Obviously I had to take advantage. The teal varnish has been reviewed at Beauty's Bad Habit and looks good. I'll be trying it out tonight :)

Bee News

An interesting article today in the Guardian about the rediscovery of black honeybees. Good news! 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Beef (food and eating)

One of my main ideas for the blog was to have details of good places to eat and drink in Manchester. I have done way too much eating out over the last few years. My favourite restaurants at the moment seem to have a middle eastern leaning (but that's a bit vague I know) and I'm always up for trying cuisines I've not had before. I'd say I'm more into eating out than making my own creations but that may change...

However so far the blog has been taken over by bees (they seem to do that!) but as I have a couple of pictures to hand (both a bit meat heavy so look away now if you are veggie) of good recent meals I thought I'd give a mention to:

Persia Grill House 255 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M21 7GJ

I've only been once to this restaurant but I can't rate it highly enough, lamb that fell off the bone, melt in the mouth rice, wonderful service and not too pricey.

The Gurkha Grill 198 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 2LH

I've been to the Gurkha Grill a few times loved it. They do a great sizzler (see above) which is always my favourite. I once went to a curry house in Slaithwaite where they deconstructed the classic sizzler to the point of me just getting a plate of meat minus the sizzler plate and sizzle. I could have wept.

Luckily this isn't a problem at the Gurkha Grill and I look forward to many more trips there in the future.

Recommendations are also VERY welcome!

Monday Nights at Heaton Park...

After my initial training at Heaton Park in March I've now started attending the follow on Monday night sessions.

The introduction was last night where we got to register and sign up for a group. Due to the high numbers they've decided that they can only let us attend every other week. I officially start on 30th April. There are four groups which you help out with in rotation. These are:

  • Extraction (getting the honey from the frames)
  • Checking the bees (what everyone wants to do!)
  • Microscopy (checking for diseases and doing scientific stuff I guess...)
  • Cleaning tools and maintenance 
I think my favourites (weirdly) are going to be extraction and cleaning tools/maintenance. I'm still a bit scared of the bee part so I need to be forced out there with them to overcome this! I like cleaning (in moderation) and like the extraction as you get to be around lots of honey and wear a silly catering hat!

In terms of getting our bees for work we are now on call until May. This means they could arrive any time from today until May and we have to drive to collect them. Ours are coming from Lincolnshire. They will then live on the Manchester roof top and I'll go along once a week to help out with them. I hope they adapt okay from rural to city living! 

FINALLY - I nearly forgot the most exciting news...I've now got my own bee suit!! :-)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Camera Phone

You might notice I put 'camera phone' in my blog blurb and also the pictures I've posted aren't amazing. No you aren't reading a blog from 2005 -  I just don't have an iphone or Blackberry and don't really have any intention of getting one!

I've got a Nokia E5. It looks a bit like a fake Blackberry and has about a tenth of the functionality. Its on pay as you go and costs me £10 a month for 400 free texts and free internet (when it works). Still its practically space age compared to my boyfriend's first generation Nokia...from the early 2000's.

My first beauty post!

So far all I've mentioned is bees and blogging but here is my first bit of beauty stuff...


For years all I used on my face was Boots essential range moisturiser in fragrance free. But after subscribing to Glossybox and Latest in Beauty about a year ago I ended up with loads of moisturiser samples. 

Enthusiastically I started using them to which my face said 'uh oh - what's this? Get it OFF!' and in rebellion my face went rash-y and sore. I asked my Mum for suggestions of something really gentle and cheap to use to get it back normal. She suggested Nivea soft and ever since I've been hooked. 

On Monday I was in Manchester Superdrug (so much better and larger than the one opposite work where I spend a lot of my lunch break!) and picked up the following...

The tubes of Nivea soft were only £1 each and I had to restrain myself from buying about 10. However you might notice I sneaked in a cute tub of Astral. Something I've never used before. It was 59p for the tub - so I figured for that price I could risk it and then reuse the tub for putting in other sachet samples. I loved its retro packaging and the tiny tub. I'll be doing another blog post at some point reviewing what I thought of it.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Beekeeping training at Heaton Park

Myself and three colleagues recently attended a two day course: ‘Introduction to Beekeeping’ at Heaton Park. The course was a whistle stop tour of the world of bees and looking after them. Along with a healthy dose of theory we also covered the fun stuff: woodwork, extraction and meeting the bees!

Over the last few years bees have been struggling; battling with a mite called Varroa which has wiped out large numbers of bee colonies. The mite causes the bees to get infections and weakens them considerably. Without bees to pollinate our crops we are looking at serious food shortages in the future so we need to help our yellow and black friends now!

The first day of the course was an introduction to bees and the equipment needed to look after them. In the afternoon I got to go out and meet the bees, I was very nervous (but excited). I got to wear the suit and go and look in a hive. The hive my group picked was a very small colony which I think was a good introduction as it was only half full! Less bees to fly out and scare me! We also got to lift out the frames (where the bees live) and inspect them for the queen, brood (the eggs that become the young bees) and drones (male bees). We were also looking for varroa and the honey stores.

Straight after meeting the bees I moved onto woodwork…which I was rubbish at! You have to study woodwork as a lot of beekeeping is putting together the hive and frames. Knowing how to knock in a nail is essential! I’m sure I’ll improve though the more I do…well that’s what the teacher told me anyway!

Day two was more theory in the morning. This time; swarming and diseases. Swarming was very confusing so more revision will definitely be needed and diseases was just a bit unpleasant! The afternoon was spent in the extraction room spinning the honey out of the frames and putting it in jars. Definitely one of the most fun parts of beekeeping! The final part of the day, and probably not the best way to end the two day course was a whole section on varroa, not exciting but definitely essential.

Finally I’ve added some links to interesting bee information and more blog posts will follow.

The British Beekeeers Association:
Manchester & District Beekeepers’ Association:
Vanishing of the Bees film:
A World Without Bees book:

So beekeeping then?

I'm going to sneak in a bit of info from my work blog here as an introduction to my starts of beekeeping. But before I do here is the first picture to go my my blog and its of me in my 'keeping suit!

I've been lucky enough to start my beekeeping journey (and I say start, I'm probably only about a month in!) through work. I became interested in bees after watching the film ‘Vanishing of the Bees’ and reading the book ‘A World Without Bees’. I didn't think a year later I'd be suited up approaching a hive!

Since I started it seems that bees are everywhere. Its spring so lots of bumble bees are flying around. There was recently a programme on African bees on BBC 2, they were in the Guardian a couple of days ago and as I've been doing a lot of internet searches on bee blogs they are all over my computer!

I'm based in Manchester so eventually my hive will be near to Rusholme. However before that, here is where the first colony of bees will be that I'm helping out with:

Yes on top of a roof in Manchester! I feel a bit sorry for the bees when you look across the skyline and don't see any greenery! They are going to be stretching their wings to get to any flowers.

As this post has got a bit lengthy I'm going to follow it up with one on my training at Heaton Park shortly.

Monday, 2 April 2012

What's in a name?

Starting a blog is something both me and my friend Nazia have talked about a fair bit in the past. On one of our most recent discussions she was asking me what it would feature. The answer was beekeeping, food and beauty, to which I jokingly came up with 'The Buzz about Beef and Beauty' for the title. She didn't believe I'd really use it. Me being mischievous decided I would.

I agree the world 'Beef' in the title is dreadful so if anyone has anything food related that sounds even remotely more sophisticated please let me know!
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