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 […]

2018 in retrospect

How was 2018 for you? It was a good year here in Fife, with more of everything; more snow, more colonies, more honey (much more honey 🙂 ), more sheds, more wasps, more swarms and more dead Varroa. Actually, the ‘more dead mites’ isn’t quite correct but I’ll return to that later. The Beast from the East There’s not […]

2017 in retrospect

The end of the year is a good time to look back at the highs and lows of the season. What worked … what didn’t work … what on earth happened to our weather in June? June is an important month here in Fife. Early season colony buildup should be pretty much complete, most colonies […]

2016 in retrospect

The end of another year and another season’s beekeeping. Now is a good time to review what went well and what went badly. In terms of my beekeeping year in Scotland, the end of December isn’t even half way through the winter. Although I didn’t open many hives after mid-September (three and a half months ago), unless […]

2015 in retrospect

The winter solstice seems like a good time to look back over the 2015 beekeeping year. With the day length about to start increasing, what went right and what went wrong? Back in March I wrote that my plans for the year were different from the usual OSR – swarming – queen rearing – summer flow – […]

2014 in retrospect

2014 was a pretty good year for beekeeping. The winter was not overly long or cold and colonies came through it in good condition. Spring was cool and damp – although colony build up was about normal it was difficult to find good enough weather for inspections. Despite the weather the OSR yielded well. The […]

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 […]

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 😉 […]