Friday, 18 October 2013

Busy Bees Working Ivy

The bees on the roof of our garden wood store are the cast swarm that was slow to start expanding and the cause of some concern. Some feeding with 1:1 syrup during late July and early August encouraged comb building. They've gone from three combs to ten! The queen has been busy laying and the colony is looking strong enough to survive the winter.

Around the middle of the day, on warmer days, they can been seen bringing in large amounts of ivy pollen. You can also see that I've had to close the entrance down to a quarter cork. This was to prevent robbing by my other colony that lives about 150 metres away.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Lows & Highs of Beekeeping

The Lows
Despite the good start early in the year, the second winter from early March to May, saw the bees cluster around their new brood and away from their remaining food stores. This resulted in isolation starvation in both hives.

The Highs
With no bees, I've put out 9 bait hives around my locality. June 3rd, came home from dog walking at around 11.00am. While chatting to a neighbour was interrupted by a roar. YES! a swarm moving into a bait hive at home!
An amazing experience to watch the bees gradually settle on the hive and walk in.

Swarm Arriving

...and settling

Within 15 minutes they were almost all clustered around the hive entrance and were rapidly moving into the hive.

A week later the bait hive was moved to the apiary. A few day later I moved the new combs into the hive. Nine beautiful new white combs full of brood at all stages, with plenty of drones, and nectar and capped honey. Some combs were crossing to more than one top-bar. I'll straighten them at the next check, after they've settled in.

 Crossed Comb, but beautiful!

 Brood and Honey

And it wasn't very long before there was enthusiastic fanning at the hive entrance with bees coming and going with pollen and nectar.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Flying at last

It's been a long winter, but this is the first really warm day of the year (shade temperature) and bees are flying!

I feel I can breathe again, but I know it's not home and dry yet!

Not a great video, from my phone while holding a puppy on a lead!

Thursday, 31 January 2013


A simple action to help get neonicotinoids removed from UK store shelves.

The same text could be used in any other country of course, but you'll need to find your store contact details.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Natural Beekeeping meeting

A chance to meet with like-minded people for a chat. The main topic will be "Hands-off beekeeping – when does it become irresponsible?". Meeting will be held near the Lancashire / North Yorkshire border (15 miles east from M6 junction 34) on Saturday 2nd February 2013 at 2.00 pm. If you are interested in coming please use the "Contact Me" button to the left and I will e-mail further info and directions.