Beekeeping Scenario – So what would you do?


Posted by admin | Posted in Beehives, Beekeeping, General, swarming | Posted on 16-06-2013

So, my first inspection after returning from holiday (14 days) and a Fathers Day inspection. I thought it could have been interesting considering the day before we went on holiday I had to perform an artificial swarm on one of the hives. So let me tell you what I found and I will be interested to hear what you would have done in my situation – partly so I can consider it and then do it myself!

The scene that presented itself  as in the photo – a swarm was situated on the Omlet but bees flying out of the beehives I had performed the artificial swarm on.Bee swarm

Let me now describe what I saw when I was in the hives.

1. Hive One (furthest away) – There were about 5 frames of bees, multiple queen cells – some open, some closed. 

2. Hive Two (nearest) – Again, about 5 frames of bees but more than Hive One. multiple queen cells – some open, some closed. 

I rehoused the swarm – I hope successfully – but what would you now do with the other two hives?

I wonder how my bees are getting on?


Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General | Posted on 15-05-2013


Mad isn’t it. I remember May last year; the weather was appalling. We had had the most amazing April and the hives were storming away….we Hives in the eveningthen got to May and I doubt the bees got outside for more than 10 minutes in the whole month – it was terrible. I then remember the most crazy swarming season as the bees finally got some good weather in early June and all hives down this area in Surrey went a little loopy.

Therefore I reach mid May and am wondering how my bees are getting on. Sadly two of my hives didn’t survive the winter – but then they were late swarms last year so I didn’t expect too much from them to be honest – but one got out of winter very strong. They have been going well and took a good amount of sugar syrup recently.

However, just as the bees were gathering in strength, the rain has started once more. I am hoping I can get in and get them sorted before they think about swarming. They will be needing space given the amount of brood I saw in there recently. Hopefully this weekend. By the way, the picture on the right are my hives in the evening sunshine….

How are your bees getting on this year?

Useful Beekeeping Links; Facebook Pages, Twitter lists and Beekeeping Apps


Posted by admin | Posted in General | Posted on 28-04-2013

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Hello all,

I recently had the pleasure of doing a talk at the BBKA Spring Convention 2013 (a much better event than in 2012 and I think most would agree). Anyhow, I thought I would just share with you the presentation slides that I was talking about. The topic concerned beekeeping in the 21st Century and I just wanted to share with everyone the links that I feel pertinent online. I hope you like them and do please recommend others as the lists are by no means exhaustive:

The National Honey Show 2012


Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General | Posted on 26-10-2012

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How was The National Honey Show 2012?

 The National Honey Show

I have to say that there are times when I feel really glad that I became a beekeeper. Times like the London Honey Show a few weeks back and the event I attended today, The National Honey Show, are a joy. To be honest you couldn’t get two more different events but there are a vital part of the beekeeping calendar.

Whether you want to attend some valuable beekeeping discussions, go shopping for some new kit or simply have a look at some fantastic examples of the products that a hive can produce in the show itself, the National Honey Show is one event to attend at the end of the year when everything else in the beekeeping year.  Read the rest of this entry »

The London Honey Show 2012


Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General | Posted on 09-10-2012

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Was The London Honey Show as good as last year?

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural London Honey Show and it was a raving success. My concern for this years London Honey Show was whether they could keep up the momentum.

The Lancaster Hotel was the host of the show and this year they took over a room at least 4 times the size of the room of last years event and this was the cause for my concern.

Last years London Honey Show was like a pressure cooker which despite the perspiration shed because the turnout was so good, made for an unforgettable atmosphere and something quite different in the beekeeping calendar. Could this years compete?  Read the rest of this entry »

Bee swarm removal; Moving an established bee swarm


Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General, swarming | Posted on 07-10-2012

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Bee swarm removal – an established swarm

Today was one of those picture perfect Autumnal days that are just a joy to be outside. Therefore it was the perfect day to try and move some bees – though late in the year, this was not just any old bee swarm but an established nest with combs to boot. It is not often that I will call in help and I tend to try to muddle on myself and making my own mistakes – which of course helps me learn. Bee swarm removal that has been in situ for 10-12 weeks however needs careful planning and thought. Read the rest of this entry »

What do you do when your Apiary is on fire?


Posted by admin | Posted in Beehives, Beekeeping, Bees, General | Posted on 15-09-2012

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So, imagine the scene. I am sitting around a pool basking in the sun at our Property to Rent in Italy and I receive a text from my Mum. Nothing out of the ordinary there aside from the fact that it is purely a picture of a scene that I found quite disturbing. Not for one nanosecond did I expect to see what I sawApiary on Fire in front of me and it took me a few seconds to take it in.

Between calls of “come on Dad” and “I want to jump on you Dad” it slowly dawned on me that the picture was the field to the side of our house, complete with three fire engines using hoses. The message accompanying the picture simply said “Exciting” which didn’t really help matters.

I could work out from the aspect that these fire engines were about 25ft from the location of my hives which immediately put a knot in my stomach. It looked pretty serious and I was straight on the phone.

My mum had very kindly agreed to pop around to mow the lawn while we were away and was confronted with this scene as she arrived. As it turned out I was very lucky and the wind was kind to me, blowing the fire in the opposite direction. It was started by a mechanical fault with a tractor while harvesting which sent sparks into the dry hay. Read the rest of this entry »

Beekeeping Books – The Urban Beekeeper by Steve Benbow


Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Beekeeping Equipment, Book Review, General | Posted on 15-09-2012

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Beekeeping Books – The Urban Beekeeper; A year of bees in the city

Beekeeping Books: The Urban Beekeeper

You know you are reading a good beekeeping book when you start talking about it in the pub with other people, especially if you have never met them before. I had read a good review about this before with Ian Douglas’ review in the Telegraph, but here I was talking about it to strangers.

I often go to my local pub while I am waiting for my take away curry. We live in a tiny village but it has the most amazing set up. An Indian Restaurant (award winning) across  the road from the most fantastic pub (also award winning) and so it would be rude not to just saunter across having put in an order. Often I pop across the road for 20 minutes, pick up the Guardian (Sorry Ian) which is left on the bar and read a bit about forthcoming weekend football. It is not often that I pray that it will be a busy night and they say to me “it will be at least 40 minutes Mr. James” but reading Steve’s beekeeping book was one of these times.

Buy now!

Read the rest of this entry »

From A to Bee now a Beekeeping Audio Book!


Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Beekeeping Diary, Bees, General | Posted on 12-09-2012

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My Beekeeping Audio Book!

I have been very fortunate and my book (From A to Bee) has been turned into a Beekeeping Audio Book which I had never really expected. As  a Result I Beekeeping Book; From A to Beegot in touch with the guy who

was going to be “my voice” and got him to answer a couple of questions. It all felt a little strange to communicate with someone who was going to become my voice! Anyway, this guy was to be Daniel Philpott, a veteran of over 100 audio books (but only now a Beekeeping Audio Book!)  and actor to boot, had the difficult job of making my book come to life and I cannot wait to hear it. You can find it on the Audible website for download now. Here were my questions about the beekeeping audio book:

1. How long did the beekeeping audio book take to record and were any bits of it particularly challenging?
From A to Bee took just over two days to record – every audiobook has its particular challenge – with fiction it might be a host different characters needing different voices, with non-fiction documentary it usually is unusual place names which have to be sourced, with fantasy fiction it’s usually both as the author has made up everything – including the place names!  With A to Bee the challenge was in the fact that’s it’s a published blog – the narrative is written from James’ perspective almost as a diary following James’ thought-processes through a real life situation.  The style is direct and chatty and sentences are a flow of those immediate thought-processes.As an audiobook reader you really  need to see things from James’ perspective and understand his character. Read the rest of this entry »

What is a swarm of bees in August worth…..?


Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General, swarming | Posted on 24-08-2012

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Such is the way with my busy life at the moment I am writing this at 6am as the sun is rising around me and the air is quiet. It is beautiful outside and I can just about see signs of life ticking over trying to wake up. Lovely to witness and I am reminded why I like getting up early every so often.

Anyway, yesterday I was called out to collect a swarm that had arrived 10ft up in a cherry tree…….in August?!? What is this year all about I ask myself. The old beekeeping poem doesn’t even mention August as you can see below!

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay;

A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon;

A swarm of bees in July isn’t worth a fly.

So, I took lots of photos and videos and let me tell you the story of what happened Read the rest of this entry »

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