07 February 2019

06 February 2019

Back to school

Speaking to Year One at Wimbledon High School - a tough crowd!

05 February 2019


The mild weather followed by cold snap has got me worried. Last week the bees were out flying. With precious little forage available, I presume they were eating through the stores. This week it is too cold to inspect. All the colonies have fondant on the top bars of the brood frames, but in my experience they are reluctant to take it down...

Here's a picture of Mr Creosote.

03 February 2019

Aldi vs Kellogg's

Let's face it, honey is popular

St Haralampi, patron saint of beekeeping

Religion, despite being a dangerous infection of the human mind, does occasionally come up with some crackingly good nonsense: St Haralampi, patron saint of beekeeping.

25 January 2019

David & Jane Richards Family Foundation

These guys are sponsoring bee research: https://djrff.org/bees/

16 January 2019

The White Stuff

Dave the Beekeeper sent this pic to our WhatsApp group, and wrote:

A friend's hives in Poland; I think we will definitely be getting some of the white stuff soon. Not telling you how to suck eggs, but make sure your bees have enough stores (honey/fondant) to get them though the coming months.

Beekeeping: priorities for winter

The unusually warm spell in the south of the UK means the bees are flying, with very little to forage. On the other hand, it makes treating the bees with winter medication (Api Bioxal) easier. I like this photo (not mine), as it demonstrates a beekeeper's priorities:

1 Thermos flask of tea
2 Everything else

05 January 2019

If you go down to the woods today

UK bees may suffer from woodpeckers, badgers and other annoyances.... while back in the US it's a different story!


03 January 2019

Somethng to braggot about

From a WBKA member:

Plus a very nice explanation to be found here: https://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/07/serious-beer-braggot.html

02 January 2019

Dean Forest

Very nice shots on the https://www.deanforestbeekeepers.co.uk/ website. My favourite:

31 December 2018

Asian hornet info


21 December 2018

TK Maxx gets in on the act

£7.99 for a 1kg jar (or if you really like to mix units, €4 per lb) at TK Maxx

14 December 2018

Bees at Highgrove House, thanks to Anthony Paine

How amazing are these beehives? A wonderfully eccentric triumph of beauty over practicality. The hive in the centre looks slightly horrified.

See more here: https://anthonypaine.com/project/beehives-at-highgrove/

13 December 2018

11 December 2018

Cooooolest beekeeping site ever!

Check this out: https://www.thewildernest.net/

29 November 2018

From our Portuguese correspondent

Some honey Brandy in Portugal...tasted so nice had to buy a bottle😎

Mead in the news

Mead in the news  I particularly like this paragraph:

Mead, created by fermenting honey with water, dates back thousands of years and was once viewed as the drink of the gods, falling from the heavens as dew then gathered by bees. It was also believed to improve health and prolong life.

Scepticism liberates, belief constricts, faith imprisons.

22 November 2018

The water in Madeira don't taste that much queerer

From our Portuguese correspondent; plenty in bloom!

Barnadia Japonica in the Botanical Gardens, Funchal (spotted by someone wiser than me - though not by much)

13 November 2018

Wintering bees

Is this a good idea? I'm not sure about the ventilation, or lack of it.

Woodpecker repellent jacket made from sheet of damp proof membrane and gaffer tape. Drops over the top and lifts off on seconds

11 November 2018

Candlestick maker

I am ever so slightly perturbed by these candles..... or is it just me? OK, it's me.

17 October 2018


Beekeepers are sounding the alarm about the latest developments in genetically modified pollinators. By 


20 September 2018

Why do we hate wasps and love bees?

From the BBC story, here:  

The best Comment on the story, by far:

749. Posted bySimon Dillon

on2 hours ago
"A new study reveals that wasps are largely disliked by the public, whereas bees are highly appreciated."

In other news, the Pope is Catholic.

Holistic Facialists

Natural Bee Pollen Supplements Snatch Holland & Barrett Healthy Award AND Psychologies Award in One Month!

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

These ethically driven awards are headed up by award winning beauty and wellbeing editor Eminé Ali Rushton, alongside her expert high profile panel of 21 judges made up of a botanist and natural cosmetologist, nutritional therapists, natural make-up artists, holistic facialists and the UK’s most experienced health and beauty journalists, alongside wellbeing authors, respected bloggers and naturopathic industry insiders.


16 September 2018

Wasps v hornets

A friend found and posted this photo. He wrote:

I've posted a photo below which clearly shows the differences between a wasp (little one)  European hornet (big brown thorax and lots of yellow bands)  and Asian hornet (one yellow band dark thorax (note face colours too!).

If I could credit the photographer, I would

13 September 2018

Himalayan Balsam

Interesting chatter on our beekeepers' whatsapp group about Himalyan Balsam:

[22:04, 9/9/2018] For information,  some people are saying bees are coming back to the Hive covered in "white stuff" this is Himalayan Balsom. Mostly collected on River banks. (Know as Ghost Bees.
[22:10, 9/9/2018] : ........why is it on the back of their thorax???
[22:12, 9/9/2018]  Because when the go into the plant they get covered and are unable to "clean it" off themselves,  it's believed that nursery bees remove it when returning to the Hive.
[22:16, 9/9/2018] Moreover, the flower’s stamen hangs above the lower petals so when the bee lands on these petals the stamen moves downwards and ‘stamps’ the back of the bee.
Himalayam Balsam is also an invasive species.
[22:21, 9/9/2018] Yes, I agree, Himalayan balsam is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with respect to England and Wales. As such, it is an offence to plant or otherwise allow this species to grow in the wild. I leave the National Trust to attempt to remove it as I feel I am not qualified and would not want to make it a bigger issue.
[22:24, 9/9/2018] Makes good honey too!👍🏻
[22:26, 9/9/2018] I agree,  I get a good supply for Winter food, and i always leave them a super mixed with Ivy & Balsom. Bees love it.

10 September 2018

Asian hornet

Asian hornet: Fowey nest destroyed as two new sightings confirmed in Liskeard and Hull

Two more sightings of Asian hornets have been confirmed and surveillance activity is underway

05 September 2018

Asian hornet in Cornwall


Asian hornet

03 September 2018

Beekeeping: waxing or waning?

Mildly interesting article in The Times : https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-to-get-the-sweet-taste-of-success-when-you-become-a-beekeeper-lfqb7j5x2

Missed a trick with "While enthusiasme for the hobby has waned over the years..." Shome mishtake, surely - waxed would be better - and funnier.

28 August 2018

22 August 2018

On the wall at London Zoo

Furry bumble bees win more hearts than apis mellifera...

20 August 2018

Chris Slade

Came across this blog, https://chrissladesbeeblog.wordpress.com/  If you can get past the self-centred life trivia, there's some half-decent beekeeping info.

16 August 2018

Honey prices

$18.50 for 8oz cut comb...San Francisco, CA

Miel de...

Any clues what these varieties are?

Asian hornet

Spotted by a UK beekeeper holidaying in France

Not Neonicotinoids


From the BBC web site:

Attempts to find a new generation of pesticides to replace neonicotinoids have been dealt a potential blow.
Neonicotinoids are the most commonly used insecticide in the world, but had been linked to bee declines.
Studies suggest a new type of pesticide seen as an alternative to the chemicals, which have been banned in many countries, may have similar risks.
The new insecticides may reduce bumblebee reproduction in the wild, according to a study by UK scientists.
The alternatives had been sought because of the evidence linking neonicotinoids to declines in bee populations - leading to the bans and restrictions on their use.

Small Bees

Bought a 1lb jar of creamed honey from Small Bees at the Saturday Farmers' market in Palo Alto, CA, $15. Very tasty.

11 August 2018


This year's Apiguard treatment is on the hives.

02 August 2018

So here’s how to have honey for breakfast!

A member of the Wimbledon Beekeepers' Association (WBKA) spotted this, and wrote: 

"So here’s how to have honey for breakfast! Only at the best spa hotels though!"

(What kind of hotel admits a WBKA member to breakfast, that's what I want to know...)

05 July 2018

Asian hornet tracking


14 June 2018

Fire pit or burial mound?

Holne Chase Apiary, now full. I'm not sure about the earthworks in the middle. Fire pit? Burial Mound?

13 June 2018

Dangling swarm

How thoughtful of the bees to swarm so tidily, and within reach!

30 May 2018

But when she got there, the cupboard was bare

Here's the swarm notification chain from WhatsApp group:

[10:25, 5/29/2018]  Swarm in SW19 7EP any one available (message is 15 mins old from public)

[10:28, 5/29/2018]  Spoken to the man, swarm on a post about 3ft off the ground about the size of 2 Rugby balls long and 1ft wide

[10:45, 5/29/2018]  Max is en route to collect it.

[11:08, 5/29/2018]  Now THAT is a swarm

[11:48, 5/29/2018]  Update, the rapid response unit (aka Max) attended the location only to find about a cup full of bees left at the location, lots of bees flying around, if they settle Max will re-attend.

[11:49, 5/29/2018] Bad luck Max. Not rapid enough it seems!

15 May 2018

Swarm - three times in the same place...

Picked up a small swarm yesterday evening. That's the third swarm that has arrived in the same garden, three years running. The house owners mentioned that a friend keeps bees near-by... Jus' sayin.'

Oddly, the swarm settled on the ground. The trickiest part was encouraging the bees into the box before the light failed.

08 May 2018

Spilling out of the hive

A nice example of bees spilling out of the hive on a hot day (28C)

04 May 2018


With some justification, Avaaz [https://www.avaaz.org/page/en/] is claiming the ban on neonicotinoids resulted from its people-led campaigns

See https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/save_the_bees_neonics_loc_ns/?slideshow

01 May 2018

Bee chocolate!

From Kew Gardens. What ingredient is NOT included, I wonder? 

Yep, no honey in this, only honey flavour

27 April 2018

Neonics in the news

From the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43910536

24 April 2018

What I learned from bees

James Reed of Reed Recruitment. I knew his dad, Alec.


How to revive drowsy [bumble] bees...

Let's face it, a teaspoon of sugar is the answer...



28 March 2018

Beekeeping like a girl

Yep, honest: Beekeeping like a girl, by HilaryKearney. Her blog is here: http://beekeepinglikeagirl.com

"My name is Hilary Kearney. I'm the founder of the urban beekeeping business 'Girl Next Door Honey' in San Diego, California. I'm an artist turned beekeeper who practices natural, treatment-free beekeeping. I'm on a mission to help new beekeepers succeed and educate the public about the magic of bees!"

Do bees fly in the rain?

Nice answers to "Do bees fly in the rain?" particularly if you scroll down to review the comments.


The site is published by Rusty Burlew.


26 March 2018

Busy bees

Lost one colony over winter. The hive location is prone to damp, and the very cold snap combined with too much moisture froze them solid. The others - less than six feet away - are busy bees.


0.767033 of what?

On a coffee-cup warmer sleeve produced by IBM


20 March 2018

How it looks is how I feel

Can't remember where I found this!

Land of Spike

Nice blog, http://beesofspike.blogspot.co.uk, though somewhat abandoned (last entry was July 2015)

The Wide-Brimmed Beekeeper

Is this a genuine fashion? Captured from https://www.y-oman.com/2013/05/checkmate/fashion-wide-brimmed-beekeeper/