12 January 2022
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04 January 2022
Seven police officers were stung during the protest
22 December 2021
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20 December 2021
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02 December 2021
Last year my colonies were chewing through up to 500 g of fondant every week. In total, each colony polished off around 12 kg.
This year, rather than replenish the hives every two weeks, I loaded one single fondant block of 12.5 kg (that's the pack size, no science here!) on the crown boards.
Today I discovered that the principle is good, but the practice is bad. Last year's I used old food tubs, which hold the fondant in place nicely. This year I started with a nicely squared-off block in a plastic bag. But the bag doesn't do the same job as a tub, and the whole thing has subsided into a giant sticky mess on the top of each hive.
Luckily, the bees seem not to mind.
01 December 2021
19 November 2021
I like this story:
A charity founder and Syrian refugee has said beekeeping helps refugees to “break connection with any trauma”.
Ali Alzein started Bees & Refugees to save the native British black bee from extinction as well as foster “a sense of belonging in the UK’s refugee communities” by providing therapeutic workshops and a Build-Your-Own-Beehive project.
17 November 2021
08 November 2021
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27 October 2021
Jonathan Geldart, the Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“Bees are one of the most important animals on the planet, but their numbers are plummeting rapidly. I am delighted that we are able to play a small part in protecting bees and the vital role they play in the natural ecosystem.
“Quite apart from the environmental, educational and wellbeing benefits the bees will bring, I am also excited by the prospect of IoD members being able to enjoy honey made by our own little captains of industry.”
09 October 2021
06 October 2021
02 October 2021
Kashmir beekeepers head southward for warmth, honey and cash...
Fascinating to compare the life of these beekeepers with those in the US.
29 September 2021
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18 September 2021
For what it is worth, I hugely admire Ms Jolie. Story from https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/angelina-jolie-return-cambodia-2022-200423388.html
10 September 2021
Beyoncé, David Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Scarlett Johansson, Flea (eh? who he?), Jennifer Garner (eh? who she?), Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Sylvia Plath (where's her apiary?), Gordon Sumner (Sting), Henry Fonda (presumably same apiary as Sylvia Plath), Jon Bon Jovi, Ed Sheeran, Sir Edmund Hillary (a little higher up than Sylvia Plath).... I could go on, and often do,
08 September 2021
02 September 2021
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13 July 2021
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23 June 2021
22 June 2021
Look at the size of those queen cells! By chance, I will be in Musselburgh in a few weeks' time; I might drop by the apiary.
20 June 2021
Beyond the screeching headline, it all ends happily ever after. Was the upset grandad asked look grumpy specifically for the camera?
The desire to attract reader attention is pushing journalists, subs, editors and publishers towards hyperbole.
19 June 2021
18 June 2021
I quote: "Marie and Sally Anne Cooney are taking on the spirits world with Silks Gin – named after the silks worn by jockeys at Bellewstown racecourse."
So, bugger all to do with bees.
11 June 2021
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10 June 2021
Nice headline, but boring story. I share because I care. Not.
09 June 2021
Actually, this is a very old story about the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis.
Cape honeybees can reproduce asexually, and (were they to come to the UK) could be a major pest.
|Photo Cathy Withers-Clarke/Alamy|
08 June 2021
30 May 2021
26 May 2021
After a year of using large amounts of plastic protective equipment, healthcare workers decided to repay nature by setting up the colony.
Consultant rheumatologist Dr Hilary Wilson, said: “It’s a way for us to help pay back for all the plastic PPE and other vital equipment used to keep us safe in the pandemic."
Don't tell Dr Wilson about poly hives, then...
25 May 2021
National Geographic: Honeybees are accumulating airborne microplastics on their bodies.https://www.
24 May 2021
21 May 2021
19 May 2021
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15 May 2021
Neat piece about how bee swarms hang together,"What a bundle of buzzing bees can teach engineers about robotic materials." https://theconversation.com/what-a-bundle-of-buzzing-bees-can-teach-engineers-about-robotic-materials-125194
Schools of fish and murmurations of starlings exhibit the same basic mechanisms, using sight-proximity.
14 May 2021
|Here's an old photo of the colony before muggins went crazy...|
09 May 2021
30 April 2021
29 April 2021
28 April 2021
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26 April 2021
20 April 2021
Bee books frequently refer to the two uses of water by bees: cool the hive, and dilute stored honey.
That seems odd to me.
To convert sucrose (C12H22011) to glucose (C6H12O6) and fructose (C6H12O6) means that for every sucrose molecule the bee must find one H2O molecule.
Put another way: C12H22011 + H2O [sucrase] = 2(C6H12O6)
So far I have not found reference to this requirement for metabolic water in the books. Maybe nectar - a very dilute sugar solution - provides all the water the bees need for the sucrase conversion, while water brought into the hive is indeed for cooling and honey dilution.
19 April 2021
Oxalic acid is a strong acid which, in solid form or in concentrated solutions, can cause burns of the skin, eyes or mucous membranes; oxalic acid concentrations as low as 5 to 10% are irritating if exposure is prolonged. Human fatalities have been recorded following ingestion of as little as 5 g of oxalic acid. The symptoms appear rapidly and are marked by a shock-like state, collapse and convulsive seizures. Such cases may show marked renal damage with precipitation of calcium oxalate in the renal tubules. The convulsive seizures are thought to be the result of hypocalcaemia. Chronic skin exposure to solutions of oxalic acid or potassium oxalate have been reported to have caused a localized pain and cyanosis in the fingers or even gangrenous changes. This is apparently due to a localized absorption of the oxalic acid and a resultant arteritis. Chronic systemic injury from inhalation of oxalic acid dust appears to be very rare, although the literature describes the case of a man who had been exposed to hot oxalic acid vapours (probably containing an aerosol of oxalic acid) with generalized symptoms of weight loss and chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Because of the strongly acid nature of the dust of oxalic acid, exposure must be carefully controlled and work area concentrations held within acceptable health limits.
17 April 2021
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15 April 2021
12 April 2021
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06 April 2021
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04 April 2021
01 April 2021
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31 March 2021
From the The Irish News, https://www.irishnews.com/news/council/2021/03/31/news/mid-ulster-council-to-support-campaign-to-ban-important-of-honey-bees-2273997/
30 March 2021
27 March 2021
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24 March 2021
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23 March 2021
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22 March 2021
Just came across https://www.honeymakers.co.uk/, and the associated site https://www.honeybeesuppliers.co.uk/
Viktor looks like a nice chap, and he's brainy, too: "Viktor has spent his life working with bees. As a small boy growing up in Ukraine he learnt from his father how not to be a bad beekeeper and went on to take a degree in Zoology and Animal Science at Kiev University."
Anyway, "Viktor & The Honeymakers" would make a great band name...
21 March 2021
20 March 2021
Even though a kind of spring has arrived in the UK, I am concerned even as the weather turns warm enough for the bees to fly and the queens to lay. Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) has blossomed and Hawthorn (Crataegus spp) will follow soon, and there are some daffs and jonquils (Narcissus spp) - but in my bones I am not convinced that there is enough forage for the expanding nest.
All my hives have fondant packs, as insurance...
17 March 2021
12 March 2021
The scheme's goal is to have trained 50 women within the next five years, as well as building 2,500 hives in 25 Unesco biosphere reserves, and restocking 125 million bees.
So, ten beekeepers per year. Crikey.
08 March 2021
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07 March 2021
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05 March 2021
02 March 2021
28 February 2021
The colonies continue to eat fondant like no tomorrow. In the past the bees have largely ignored fondant, and been happy to forage instead. This year each colony (in National hives) is consuming approximately 500g fondant per week. According to some beekeepers, this is a sign that I did not feed the bees sufficiently going into winter. The alternative explanation is that I removed too much honey going into winter, as I would rather they used their own stores - and presumably that is better for them, too.
24 February 2021
Here's a nice piece:
Rapidly Growing Edinburgh Based Craft Kit Business Partners With Beekeeper Charity
Story from https://www.craftbusiness.com/news/view/rapidly-growing-edinburgh-based-craft-kit-business-partners-with-beekeeper-charity
PS Are they ever tempted to embroider the truth?
18 February 2021
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11 February 2021
09 February 2021
02 February 2021
Great presentation by Celia Rudland of East Surrey Bees about preparing for Spring. With more than 200 colonies, she really knows how to put theory into practice.
In the past I have bought both queens and colonies from East Surrey Bees, all of which have proved excellent.
28 January 2021
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26 January 2021
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