What they don’t tell you

Synopsis: The details they don’t tell you on a ’Start beekeeping’ course are almost as important as the things they do teach. By definition these courses tend to be ‘fact heavy’. They omit some of the less tangible, and sometimes less pleasant, aspects of our hobby. These are mine, but all experienced beekeepers will have […]

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 😉 […]

The million drones fiasco

Accidents happen. Sometimes they are due to stupidity, sometimes to forgetfulness, or sometimes they are just the result of plain dumb luck. They’re also often caused or at least exacerbated by ‘local’ factors – like a rainstorm or a cancelled train preventing timely inspections.  Or a countrywide lockdown necessitated by a global viral pandemic. With […]

Spot the queens

A little over a month ago I opened a recently-united hive to be faced with this … That’s a ‘bit of a stooshie’ as they might say in Glasgow . Somewhere in the middle of that brawling mass of workers is a queen. She’s unmarked and not clipped. This was a surprise as the queen I […]

That’s all folks

It’s late August and the end of my least successful beekeeping year ever. That sounds very negative, so perhaps it should be qualified. It’s the end of my least successful beekeeping year in terms of honey production. However, in terms of the satisfaction I’ve got from my beekeeping, it’s been a pretty good year. Let’s […]

Entrances and exits

Over the course of the first full season using the bee shed the access to the hives – for the bees, not the beekeeper – has been simplified and improved. The current versions appear to work well and provide the necessary security and ease of use – for the beekeeper, not the bees  😉 General principles The bee […]