Does DWV infect bumble bees?

Covid (the disease) is caused by a virus called SARS-Cov-2. SARS is an abbreviation of severe acute respiratory syndrome and the suffix ‘Cov’ indicates that it’s a coronavirus. The final digit (2) shows that it’s the second of this type of virus that has caused a pandemic. The first was in 2003, and was caused by […]

Superinfection exclusion

Alpha Beta Gamma Delta  The majority of readers will identify these as the current circulating variant strains of Covid . The World Health Organisation decided upon this naming system as being easier and more practical to discussed (sic) by non-scientific audiences . All viruses vary, and viruses with genomes made from ribonucleic acid (RNA) vary more than […]

Winter losses

I lost 10% of my colonies this winter. It’s always disappointing losing colonies, but it’s sometimes unavoidable. I suspect the two I lost were unavoidable … though, as you’ll see, they weren’t completely lost. April showers frosts Late April may seem like mid-season for many beekeepers based in southern England. While they were adding their […]

Brexit and beekeeping

The ‘oven ready’ deal the government struck with the EU in the dying hours of 2020 was a bit less à la carte and a bit more table d’hôte. The worst of the predictions of empty supermarket shelves and the conversion of Essex into a 3500 km2 lorry park have not materialised . But there […]

Frequently asked questions

The 2020/21 winter has been very busy with online talks to beekeeping associations. I’m averaging about five a month, with only the fortnight over Christmas and New Year being a bit quieter.  When chatting to the organisers of these talks it’s clear that they are getting increasingly successful . Audience numbers are encouragingly high as […]

2020 in retrospect

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote my retrospective review of the 2019 season. At the time I was thinking “What a nightmare! If I never again have a year like that it’ll be too soon.”. This was due to a major fire in my research institute which terminated a 30 year research programme and […]

Oxalic acid (Api Bioxal) preparation

This post updates and replaces one published three years ago (which has now been archived). The registered readership of this site has increased >200% since then and so it will be new to the majority of visitors. It’s also particularly timely. I will be treating my own colonies with oxalic acid in the next week […]

Eating my words

I periodically look at the access statistics of this site. It gives me an idea of what’s popular, which subjects might be worth revisiting and which posts have sunk without trace into bottomless void of the internet. Daily page views are only 50% what they were in June. Maybe it’s the chaos/excitement/disappointment (delete as appropriate) […]