Less is more

The season here started late after a a long, cold spring, and it’s giving every impression of ending early. A couple of low pressure systems have slowly drifted in from the west, replacing the settled calm weather with something a lot more changeable. On the west coast of Scotland the heather has still to really […]

Queen introduction

I’m probably less qualified to write about queen introduction than almost any other aspect of beekeeping. This is not because I’ve not introduced any queens. Quite the opposite, it’s something I do more or less routinely many times a season.  The reason(s) I’m really not qualified to discuss the topic are: I almost exclusively use […]

DIY queen cell incubator

You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time … so said John Lydgate (1370-1450). And he wasn’t wrong. This is something I’m particularly aware of writing a weekly post […]

Little dramas

This post was originally titled Drama queens. Apposite … it’s mostly about queens. However, the term drama queen refers to someone who overreacts to a minor setback … which is almost the complete opposite of what I’m intending to discuss. Instead, this post is about the – sometimes unseen – little dramas in the apiary. Things […]

Hard graft

Regular readers will have seen this image before … … as I used it (with the same legend) towards the end of the post last week.  I spoke too soon 🙁 The temperature on the 17th and 18th briefly reached 17.5°C … which was enough. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Good morning America Glenrothes […]

It’s a drone’s life

What has a mother but no father, but has both a grandmother and grandfather? If you’ve not seen this question before you’ve not attended a ‘mead and mince pies’ Christmas quiz at a beekeeping association.  The answer of course is a drone. The male honey bee. Drones are produced from unfertilised eggs laid by the […]

No risk, no reward

“April showers bring May flowers”, or something close to that, is a poem that has its origins in the General Prologue of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. It means that the Atlantic low pressure systems that roll in from the west during April, often bringing rain, also account for the abundance of flowers that bloom in May. […]

Acting on Impulse

Men just can’t help acting on Impulse …  This was the advertising strapline that accompanied the 1982 introduction of a new ‘body mist’ perfume by Fabergé. It was accompanied by a rather cheesy set of TV commercials with surprised looking (presumably fragrant) women being accosted by strange men proffering bouquets of flowers . And, it […]

Lost and found

It was the Welsh Beekeepers’ Convention last weekend . This is a convention I’ve previously enjoyed attending. I remember strolling through the daffodil-filled Builth Wells Showground in lovely spring sunshine to visit the trade show. And I remember staggering back to the car, laden with items that were: too inexpensive (not cheap … there’s a difference 😉 […]