The Voice of Michael Palmer

Me and Michael Palmer near Lake Champlain

Sorry about the audio quality on this clip; somebody once asked if I used a potato as a recording device! I don’t, but I actually think my iphone does it better than my portable digital recorder, which is what I used for this. Anyway, I still think it’s worth listening to this nine minute audio…

The Voice of Ray Olivarez

Me and Ray Olivarez Oct 2018

I met up with a very busy Ray Olivarez of Olivarez Honey Bees last October at his company headquarters in Orland, Northern California. In this audio clip from the interview he talks about his famous Hobby Day which is coming up this weekend, as well as pollination, mite treatments and keeping his bees healthy. He…

The Voice of Murray McGregor

Me and Murray McGregor of Denrosa

This is the second in a series of posts in which I provide a short audio clip of my interviewee. Today I’m featuring Murray McGregor of Denrosa Apiaries in Perthshire, Scotland. He has over 3,000 colonies and his main honey crop comes from the heather. In this clip he talks about how he got started…

The Voice of David Kemp

David Kemp at Buckfast Abbey in the 1960s

Back in the day they used to put honey in cans rather than jars, and the picture shows a very young David Kemp sealing the lids on with the old canning machine. Thanks to Andy Wattam for getting the photo to me. Here is a brief section from my 2017 interview with the legendary David…

Bee Boles and Blarney

Gate to walled garden at Dromoland

Last week I hopped over the Irish Sea for a short stay in the ancestral homeland. I had volunteered to be Mike and Lesley Palmer’s driver for a few days. Mike had finished his bee talks in Cork and was spending some time in County Clare before moving up to Northern Ireland to continue his…

Local Knowledge: Weather

Wind Gust Chart from Dark Sky

What a difference a few weeks makes, weather-wise, in this crazy country I live in. As I munched my way through two slices of malted grain toast with butter and orange marmalade, I looked out this morning on incessant rain. A few weeks ago we were basking in record-breaking temperatures and blue skies, but now…

Hot February Bad for Bees?

plum tree blossom

Hotter than Athens A couple of days ago we had a Winter heatwave in the UK courtesy of air being brought up from much further South. On 26 February the Evening Standard reported, “UK February temperature record broken for second day running.” Where I keep my bees, the temperature reached 19 degrees Celsius (66 deg…

Interview with Walrus

Steve Donohoe 2019

Just in case any readers want to know what little ole me thinks, I have answered some of my interview questions: Q: Is there any family history of beekeeping? A: Not that I know of Q: How did you get started? A: I went to evening classes run by the Cheshire Beekeeping Association. The tutor…

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…