WIN: Beginner's guide to bees

WIN: Beginner's guide to bees

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Under threat from insecticides and habitat loss, bees need our help. So, if you'd like to show some love to our busy little pollinators by installing a hive o...

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Under threat from insecticides and habitat loss, bees need our help. So, if you'd like to show some love to our busy little pollinators by installing a hive or simply adding more bee-friendly plants to your patch, Backyard Bees will show you how.

Author Doug Purdie offers friendly, expert advice on keeping happy, healthy bees, and harvesting the liquid gold, including tips on choosing a hive and equipment.

This revised edition also has a chapter on the Flow Hive, the innovative beehive design that has taken beekeeping by storm.

You'll find case studies and anecdotes from beekeepers as well as 20 delicious recipes for all that honey, and tips for planting bee-friendly gardens and creating habitats and homes for solitary bees.

Backyard Bees - A complete guide for the beginner beekeeper or bee enthusiast, by Doug Purdie (Murdoch Books) RRP $36.99.

Bee sting cake

From page 225

Serves 12

300g (10 1/2 oz/2 cups) plain flour

55g (2 oz/1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

2 teaspoons dried yeast

185ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup) milk, at room temperature

2 eggs, at room temperature

60 g (2 1/4 oz/1/4 cup) softened butter, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling

500g (1 lb 2 oz) cream cheese, softened

250g (9 oz) ricotta cheese

finely grated zest of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons lemon juice

125g (4 1/2 oz/1 cup) icing (confectioner's) sugar, sifted

Honey almond topping

90g (3 1/4 oz/ 1/3 cup) butter, diced

50g (1 3/4 oz) honey

75g (1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

40ml (1 1/4 fl oz) thick (double) cream

150g (5 1/2 oz) flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 170 C (325 F/Gas 3). Grease and line the base and side of a 23cm (9 inch) spring-form cake tin.

For the filling, put the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until just combined. Refrigerate until needed.

For the cake, put the flour, sugar, yeast, milk, eggs, butter and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the batter into the cake tin and spread out evenly with a spoon or offset spatula. Place the tin in a clean plastic bag and tie to enclose. Leave in a warm, draught-free place and allow to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Put butter, honey, sugar and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-6 minutes until the mixture turns a slightly darker shade of yellow. Add almonds and stir through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until the cake dough has finished rising.

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