None of the regulars I speak to at The Old Pump in Aldershot have a bad word to say about ‘hapless’ Sandra. She’s has been a well-liked member of the community since before it was known as The Old Pump, before when it was known as the Pumping Station and before that, when it actually was the pumping station for Aldershot’s sewage system. ‘Some things never change,’ they mutter into their pints.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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’).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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