Black Bees and Brexit

Apis_mellifera_mellifera

There are some topics guaranteed to cause blazing arguments even between friends and family, such as Brexit, or in the case of British beekeepers; the Black Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera). I love all bees and think it would be a disaster if any particular sub-species were to die out, so I’m certainly in favour of…

Important Varroa Research

Samuel Ramsey Varroa Research

I have just been directed to this by hivemaker on the beekeeping forum (Peter Little) and it really is groundbreaking stuff. It seems extremely likely from this work that the varroa mites feed on the bees’ fat body material rather than blood, and 95% of mites attach to the underside of the bees. There will…

Inconsistency

Bees on Ivy

Firstly, my dear Dad died last week. Apart from being a Dad, which is a pretty big thing to be, he was a loyal reader of this blog. Dads are meant to be supportive of their son’s endeavours, and mine was. I know that he learned a bit about bees and enjoyed some of my…

The Perils of Late Supersedure

supersedure_cell

For those that do not know, which probably means all non-beekeepers, supersedure is what happens in a beehive when the bees make a new queen to ultimately replace the existing queen. The other way of doing this is by swarming. In supersedure, the bees do not swarm, theoretically, so the beekeeper does not lose large…

Managing the Mighty Mites

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Perhaps I have some sloth DNA somewhere in me. Maybe long ago a wayward walrus mated with a sloth and generations later the characteristics of our three-toed slow-moving friends popped up in me. It’s surprising how many people like sloths, perhaps because we…

A Craftsman and a Gentleman

I knew that Peter Little was a nice guy, having had a few telephone conversations with him at various times, but I had no idea until I met him just how highly skilled he is in so many technical areas. He is all about being self-sufficient with all aspects of his beekeeping and queen breeding….

Airborne Honey at Another Level

Bee Hives in New Zealand

When I drove down to the Headquarters of Airborne Honey in Leeston on New Zealand’s South Island, it was a scorching hot Summer’s day, not unlike today’s weather six months later here in the UK. I’m on my second summer this year, which is excellent! Airborne Honey is owned and run by Peter Bray, who…

Sweat and Honey

smoking-cat-with-honey

We are having an actual Summer here in the UK this year, which is a very welcome, if unexpected, treat. Most beekeepers seem to be reporting that it’s a good year for honey. I always find that most of my honey comes off a handful of big colonies – the ones that grew fast and…