Early spring forage for honey bees

Corylus contorta

My local beekeeper association has kindly sent round a note reminding beginner beekeepers to check food stocks in their hives as his own bees are taking a substantial amount of fondant at the moment.  The weather has been mild and sunny (in the south west anyway) and the bees have been flying.  It’s fantastic to… Read more »

Hefting

Weighing hives

I’m convinced my bees have enough honey to last them a winter, especially such a kind one as this (south/south-west England) but a new and curious word was appearing in my mind, ‘heft’.  Once they were caught out by one of the rare cold snaps and the paving slab by the hive had a smattering… Read more »

Ivy

Flowering ivy

Ivy is one of the most important honey bee plants because it is in flower when very little else is.  The image shows ivy flowers on the left, the ‘wispy’ yellow rather than smooth satellites.  Only mature ivy produces flowers (and the blue-black berry fruits).  It can take 10 years for ivy to mature but… Read more »

Beekeeping Protective Clothing – price comparison

Beekeeping Protective Clothing – UK price comparison (updated Oct 2013) Suit – all-in-one Fragile Planet £ 98.95 Excl. P&P £5 The Bee Shop £ 49.50 No P&P Thornes £ 124.20 Excl. P&P (incl. VAT for UK) Smock and veil Fragile Planet £ 29.99 Excl. P&P £5 The Bee Shop £ 34.50 No P&P Thornes £… Read more »

Beginning beekeeping

Honey bee

Beginning beekeeping: Waiting for my first bees – an emotional rollercoaster! Nearly four years ago I went on my first beginning beekeeping course held at Thorne’s near Stockbridge, Hampshire.  The course inspired me to buy a hive but in hindsight I think I was still feeling too inexperienced to actually get some bees.  I say… Read more »

Bee Protective Clothing for Natural Beekeepers

A natural beekeeper begins to understand the wisdom behind traditional beekeeping protective clothing Collecting my first bees After waiting three years to get some bees I was at long last going to visit the bees that were to become mine.  You might think three years was sufficient time to get prepared but after a series… Read more »