Walrus becomes Carpenter

The Walrus and the Carpenter (c) Disney

Now and then something comes along which makes one’s life take off in unexpected directions. I was always a bookworm as a child, a sponge for theoretical knowledge, an academic. I hated woodwork and metalwork lessons at school and dropped them as soon as I could so that I was able to focus on science…

Let’s Keep Some Perspective

Hazel Catkins

Losing sleep about bees Beekeepers, especially those new to the noble art, get anxious about a multitude of factors surrounding the keeping of their bees. I know this by looking at posts on beekeeping forums and letters in the bee press. Also, I remember how I used to worry endlessly about so many things in my first few…

Bees, Bubbles and Business

Until three years ago most of my working life had been about finance in one form or another. I started as a trainee accountant in the City of London, way back in the ’80s, and I have worked in both large and small companies doing exciting things like financial analysis, financial planning, pricing, budgets, process…

Visit to French Hill Apiaries

Mike Palmer and his truck

I noticed that Vermont beekeeper Mike Palmer has now got a website, so here are some notes from my visit to meet him 18 months ago: The Journey to America I stayed with Mike and Lesley Palmer for a few days in July 2017. My daughter ClĂ­ona, who is also my beekeeping assistant, was happy…

Bees need a holiday too!

Montana Scenery

Last October I was in Northern California to interview Ray Olivarez of Olivarez Honey Bees. It took a fair bit of arranging to get a date which worked for Ray but eventually we settled on Tuesday 23rd October at his place in Orland. A walrus far from home… My flight from the UK landed at…

Ups and downs of 2018

An old shot of Buckfast abbey by David kemp

As Confucius almost certainly once said, “It’s the Yin and Yang, innit?” in answer to questions about why life is so rarely all black or all white, but is both at the same time. I am at peace with this. When the brown stuff hits the fan I am comforted to know that it will…

Defeating the Monster

Randy Oliver's Varroa Model

Yesterday I treated all of my hives with oxalic acid vapour using a Sublimox device plugged into a generator. The generator was a gift from a friend who I have helped out with bees over the last year. The Sublimox was a gift to myself and my bees. Research at LASI, located at my old…

Making money, Honey

My Honey Label

What’s my plan? Well, since you ask, I shall enlighten you. I am not a commercial beekeeper. The main reason for me keeping bees is that I enjoy getting out of the city into rural Cheshire so that I can be closer to nature and feel the passing of the seasons as they happen. Town…