Winter Turnaround

I got my bees in early 2015. They seem to have a good first year, increasing from a nucleus to a full hive, eating voraciously and putting away stores. But, as winter drew in and the year came to a close, I knew that they, and I, would face the first real test.

Read more →

tl;dr: oneTesla sent me something expensive by mistake, I told them, got no reply, and 9 months later they want me to pay for it. I think their ethics are screwy and I want to know if it happened to you.

Read more →

Happy new year! Happy new Folk Tune Finder! Why not try it out?

Those of you following along at home will know that this is version 7, and that I release approximately one new version per year. This one’s a big one, with lots of changes. I’ll concentrate on four.

Read more →

IMG_20151215_230320_edit

Standards are high at the annual Christmas lights event. It’s important that every entry is a strong in order to outperform the competition.

Read more →

Unwelcome guests

Cooking an evening meal, I reach for the oregano and then for the thyme. As the herbs start to work out where they are, why they’re here and what they’re meant to be doing, a familiar but confusing aroma issues. This doesn’t smell so much of my dinner as my beehive. And not in that cooking-with-honey way.

Read more →

There are lots of kinds of beehives, but many of them have the same construction: a brood box, which is a large space for the colony to live, and supers, which are smaller boxes, added on top, in which bees make honey and which beekeepers sometimes have to take away for their own good (the beekeepers’ own good, not the bees’).

Read more →

I’ve had my beehive for over two weeks. It’s full of honeybees, and getting fuller. In that time my neighbours have had two nests of very different varieties of wild native bee: leafcutters and bumblebees. They’re not camera-shy.

Read more →

My nucleus is building up strength. It takes 40 days from its egg-laying to a worker bee going out on its foraging missions (bees spend their first ten days in the hive doing household chores). This means that the bees now out foraging were eggs long before I acquired the nuc.

Read more →

Frustration (video)

I stopped off to wish my bees a good afternoon and to ask after their mother. One worker was clearly in some discomfort.

Read more →

The First Death

Inspecting a beehive is the central mystical ritual of beekeeping. Seeing the bees at work, spotting the queen scuttling around and appraising the hard work they are all doing is, I’ll be honest, one of the major draws for me. It’s something that should be done as infrequently as possible because it disrupts the hive, stresses the bees and interferes with the environmental conditions that they’re trying to maintain. At the height of inspection season no more than once every few days.

Beekeepers go to great lengths not to damage or kill insects. But sometimes it does happen.

Read more →