Teaching in the bee shed

An observant beekeeper never stops learning. How the colony responds to changes in forage and weather, how swarm preparations are made, how the colony regulates the local environment of the hive etc. Sometimes the learning is simple reinforcement of things you should know anyway. Or knew, but forgot. Possibly more than once. If you forget the […]

Bee shed musings

It’s the end of our third season using a bee shed, and the end of the first season using the ‘new and improved’ bee shed mark 2. What’s worked and what hasn’t? Why keep bees in a shed at all? A bee hive provides a secure and weatherproof container to protect the colony . Why then […]

The new bee shed

It’s not often a backhoe digger and dumper truck are required for apiary construction. Certainly, most of the sites I’ve used over the years have needed little more than a few breeze blocks, Buster (my trusty hivebarrow), some sweating and swearing and a spirit level. And the spirit level is only required because I want my […]

Varroa control in the bee shed

The last colonies to be treated for Varroa this late summer (early autumn?) are those in the bee shed†. These have had consistently low levels of mites all season … levels were so low that we uncapped two full frames of drone brood (individually) from one of them in June without finding a single mite. Nevertheless, […]

Bee shed rules

The bee shed is getting busy and now houses four full colonies and a nuc or two. With several people involved in sampling colonies for our DWV research we’ve drawn up some simple rules‡ to ensure things stay neat and tidy. This post – slightly more frivolous than usual – should automagically appear on my Twitter account […]

Bee shed inspections

A brief update on how things have been progressing in the bee shed. This is my first full season keeping colonies full-time within a shed or building though I’ve successfully overwintered mini-nucs in an unheated greenhouse in the past. When installed at the end of last season there was almost no need to open the hives, so it’s […]

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 […]