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This category contains 21 posts

If there had been tumbleweeds…

…I wouldn’t have been surprised. I’m talking about our latest bee inspection. There were high points (our first ‘considerable’ honey grab) and low points (the tumbleweeds). But there were a few gifts as well… Bee inspection: First Hive This bee inspection took place during the first half of July. We had admittedly left some time between … Continue reading

Ah, They’re a Bunch of Old Softies Really

Verum ubi ductores acie revocaveris ambo, deterior qui visus, eum, ne prodigus obsit, dede neci; melior vacua sine regnet in aula. But when both leaders from the battlefield are recalled, do to death him who seems inferior, that he be not a waste and bane; let the better reign in a clear court. Virgil The Georgics … Continue reading

Inspections 2014: They are what they are

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via – There is no easy way from the earth to the stars. (Seneca) This post is dedicated to Roy Eastol, a true ‘fen boy,’ and a beekeeping gentleman of many decades of these here parts.  Who forgot more about beekeeping than anyone ever knew (although I can’t … Continue reading

Of Swarms and Inspections 2014: We Will Not Have a Third Hive! (Part 6)

It wasn’t all bad news from the bees’ perspective on that Saturday. The first swarm, which had been lucky enough to transfer to a nice, comfy nuc a few weeks back, was transferred to even more spacious accommodation – a brood box. Before that could happen (and while the other bees were deciding on a … Continue reading

Of Swarms and Inspections 2014: Good God, Will It Ever End? (Part 5)

Saturday 31st We had gone out on various errands, one of them picking up the makings of another hive to transfer our primary cast of a month ago from its probably overcrowded digs in the nuc to a more spacious des res (we do not want a third hive, we do not want a third … Continue reading

Of Swarms and Inspections 2014: It Persists (Part 4)

But it did have a happy ending… May 12  There was a second cast, across the yard this time and down by the greenhouse. At frst we thought it was the first set moving on from their nuc home.  But, no, the Garage Bees were looking distinctly guilty.     As with the first swarm, … Continue reading

Of Swarms and Inspections 2014: Where It Ends (we hope) (Part 3)

The last post ended on a bit of a dejected note where we felt like pretty lame beekeepers.  And, right on schedule the bees, adding insult to anticipated injury, swarmed again on Monday 5 May 2014. A primary cast of a good 20,000-30,000 bees. But miracle of miracles, instead of going to their usual high … Continue reading

Of Swarms and Inspections 2014: It Continues (Part 2)

In which the beekeeper describes the first official inspection, or what can be described as a game of two halves, er I think, to quote from some sport I never watch. Beginner beekeepers may 1) want to look away, or 2) look on these problems (some self-induced by negligent beekeeping) and learn…. 4 May 2014 … Continue reading

Ok, I have heard of bees in trees and tree bees. But mountain climbing bees?

  Corripuere viam interea, qua semita monstrat. Iamque ascendebant collem, qui plurimus urbi imminet, adversasque adspectat desuper arces.                Miratur molem Aeneas, magalia quondam, miratur portas strepitumque et strata viarum… Qualis apes aestate nova per florea rura                exercet sub sole labor, cum gentis adultos educunt fetus, aut cum liquentia mella stipant et dulci distendunt nectare cellas, … Continue reading

I have heard of bees in trees, but tree bees?

Allow me to introduce you to Bombus hypnorum, the tree bee: Apparently, introductions are required in the UK, for even though this is a bumblebee common to Europe, it has only just recently made its way to the UK (first observed in 2001). It has moved as far west as Iceland in 2008. It has been receiving some attention … Continue reading

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