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…

Bee a Botanist!

Sycamore (Acer) in flower

This beekeeping malarky is not a simple matter of putting bees in a box and leaving them alone; far from it. A lot of work and cost, in both time and money, goes into ensuring that our bees are booming and healthy and productive. Always remember the saying, “If you look after your bees, they…

Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

Lies, damn lies

I recently read a ludicrous article on BBC News, “Can Listening to Bees help save them – and us?” which continues the campaign of mis-information about honey bees. I used to think that this type of report, of which there are many, was just lazy reporting but now I am beginning to suspect a deliberate…

Happy to be a Brit

A green and pleasant land

As I write this, the bells of Big Ben are chiming across London Town as part of the Remembrance Day commemoration, which is particularly poignant this year as it was precisely 100 years ago that the World War One hostilities ended. What a grim war that was. They all are. The “War to end all…

What’s Your Plan? (You need one)

Time to Plan (Creator:Ivelin Radkov)

I am back from my Californian adventure, which involved spending time with Ray Olivarez of Olivarez Honey Bees and Randy Oliver who runs the popular scientific beekeeping website and writes in the American Bee Journal. I learned a lot and added to the great material that I want to pass on in my forthcoming book….

Shaken, not Stirred

Sacramento Capitol Building

I am sitting at my desk in a delightful room in the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in Sacramento, contemplating how to spend my last full day here in California. Tomorrow will be all about getting home. I will check out at about 10 am local time on Sunday and, even if everything goes smoothly, I won’t…