Physics in winter cluster

Winter Cluster

Not many beekeepers pull brood frames out of their hives in the middle of winter. Whilst this is not surprising, given the risks, it does mean that we tend to imagine what’s going on inside the hive. And some people have terrific imaginations. Every beekeeper has theories about […]

Langstroth bee hives

Decisions: What Hive?

Every year, about now in my part of the world, a new intake of future beekeepers starts evening classes run by their local beekeeping association. These courses are generally excellent from what I’ve seen. Beginner classes are the right way to go for somebody with little knowledge of […]

Dessie and Fish

Last Friday, I attended the National Honey Show at Sandown Park Racecourse. The last time I’d been there was to watch Desert Orchid romp home in the 1987 Gainsborough Limited Handicap Chase. Dessie was one of the all-time greats, and he loved Sandown. I was obsessed with horse […]

Learning from Nature

At the recent autumn convention of Cheshire Beekeepers’ Association, Professor Tom Seeley talked about ‘Darwinian beekeeping’. I had doubts but wanted to hear the great man speak. His many years of studying honey bees, particularly those living in the wild, have surely got to be of interest to […]

boats in tighnabruaich

Whatever Floats Your Boat

Countless beekeepers are offering their thoughts and opinions on all manner of things (I’m one of them). There are books galore, not to mention Facebook and YouTube. Hence, as with so much modern life, the challenge is information overload and echo chambers, not a lack of resources. The […]

My Parents in 1961

It’s About People

I gave a talk to South Clywd Beekeeping Association the other day. It was a presentation that I’ve done five or six times before, about my travels to meet and learn from beekeepers worldwide. My favourite part is the questions and chat afterwards, which is strange because I […]

Father of the bride

Four Apiaries and a Wedding

I feel pretty good about how things have gone as I head towards the end of my beekeeping season. There have been some ups and downs, but I’ve learned new things and made progress as both a walrus and a beekeeper. This is my first blog post since […]

Queen Age Matters

I’m going to be dipping into some research by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation in Australia in 2003. You can get the research paper here. It’s by Rhodes and Somerville and has some clues that should help with introducing queens. Some of the things they studied […]

Peter Little

Within the past week, the community of beekeepers lost a great man. Peter Little of Exmoor Bees and Beehives moved on to the great apiary in the sky. I’m sure they welcomed him with open arms. My thoughts are with his family. I cannot claim to have been […]

Queen Bee on comb

They Fly?!

Raising queens has helped my beekeeping enormously. I have been able to compare hives headed by home bred queens with ‘self-made’ queens. The latter tends to occur when bees swarm or when I make a ‘walk away split’. I leave them with one queen cell from which to […]