17 May 2024

Beekeeping & sport

Following the piece about the beekeeper, the swarm, and the French Open tennis, here's another sporty bee story: "‘Bee Guy’ Who Removed Hive from MLB Game Wins Over Crowd, Gets First Pitch: 'Pretty Hyped Up'"

Only a truly American journalist could write that headline! More here, https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/bee-guy-removed-hive-mlb-104906376.html 

01 May 2024

Military vet goes to war with neighbors over backyard bee hive

Only in America - or perhaps coming to a 'burb near you, too: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/military-vet-goes-to-war-with-neighbors-over-backyard-bee-hive/ar-AA1nSTSg 

23 April 2024

What does this mean? "Killer Asian hornet warning with 3,000 per cent rise"

In this report, the key sentence occurs at the end:

Killer Asian hornets with a sting that can kill are set to invade the UK in record numbers, sparking fear for British bees and safety concerns for humans. Last year saw an alarming 3,800 per cent increase in sightings of these deadly insects.

This year is expected to bring a full-blown invasion, as experts warn of the potential devastation these hornets can cause. They're known for their ability to wipe out entire beehives within hours, and when swarming, they can pose a lethal threat to humans and other large animals.

In 2022, there were a mere two reported encounters with them, but this figure skyrocketed to 78 in 2023.

Is "3,000 per cent rise" justified - or understandable? Plus the '3,800' figure adds to the confusion, I think!

More to the point, is the battle against Asian Hornet already lost? 

08 April 2024

American Foulbrood found in Perthshire beehive

Never pleasant news for beekeepers. More here: https://www.gov.scot/news/american-foulbrood-found-in-perthshire-beehive-2/ 

The National Bee Unit provides reports of AFB here: https://www.nationalbeeunit.com/diseases-and-pests/reports-charts-and-maps/disease-incidence/live-afb-report/

04 April 2024

Bee Health Improvement Partnership, Scotland

Useful, if somewhat dry, reading about the Bee Health Improvement Partnership: https://www.gov.scot/publications/bee-health-improvement-partnership-bhip-annual-report-2022-2023/ 

The table reporting notifiable disease inspections looks interesting (see below). EFB was much worse in 2020 than in 2023; AFB has rocketed.

27 March 2024

Amos Root's house - a snip at $20,000,000

Came across this today: Amos Root's house is for sale: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/well-preserved-1920s-spanish-colonial-214358290.html  Root wrote The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture (a mere £80 from Northern Bee Books)) 

Photo: Mike Helfrich https://www.instagram.com/mike_helfrich/

16 March 2024

Free nature events to celebrate Wallingford business park's 30th anniversary

The link from the main article takes you directly to "Best pub in South Oxfordshire," which speaks volumes about beekeepers...

Full story here: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/free-nature-events-celebrate-wallingford-050000208.html 

15 March 2024

Local Primary School’s Beekeeping Club Buzzes To New Heights With Support From South West Water

More bees, this time in Launceston: https://cornishstuff.com/2024/03/14/local-primary-schools-beekeeping-club-buzzes-to-new-heights-with-support-from-south-west-water/

14 March 2024

Bees at the BNP Paribas Open

Nice bit of bee-vaccing: https://x.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN/status/1768419806712377353?s=20 and https://twitter.com/i/status/1768417280143364498

23 February 2024

Greek beekeepers take hives to parliament in protest

 Some nice Greek agitprop:  https://uk.news.yahoo.com/greek-beekeepers-hives-parliament-protest-165142791.html

22 February 2024

It turns out we have been saving the wrong bees



05 February 2024

The Beekeeper buzzes to the top of the box office

The Beekeeper movie currently tops the box office, beating Mean Girls - which considering some of my bees, would be a good subtitle for the same film.

Reviews of The Beekeeper might be summarised as 'ineffably silly, violent fun - if you like that kind of thing.'

On the plus side, The Beekeeper is better than Barbie, but that's a very, very low bar.

22 January 2024

Alan Rowse

I have 30+ years experience in the education sector which also includes research management at undergraduate and postgraduate level. A local beekeeping group, which is based in the Rowcroft Hospice estate, were looking for an individual who could progress their educational agenda. I joined this group in 2020 and have been helping to manage their 25 (2 of which are mine) beehives which has been a great learning experience. This hands-on experience led me to joining the Torbay Beekeepers Association where I signed up for the winter course and subsequently passed my BBKA Basic exam with credit. I am now exploring the other BBKA courses on offer. Although in my early stages of becoming an experienced beekeeper, I enjoy mentoring new volunteers and learning from my more experienced peers. As a lifelong learner, I enjoy the challenge of learning new skills and knowledge, particularly when the topic of beekeeping is involved. Email here Link trustee for:

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/3KWd6Fs
via gqrds

21 January 2024

17 January 2024

Mellifera, Mellifica - I feel a campaign coming on...

"Mellifera" as in "honey-carrying" is something of a misnomer for honey bees. When Carl Linnaeus realised that "mellifica" would be more descriptive (as in "honey-making"), it was too late to change the fixed classification.

Many biological classification names are subject to change, though. In beekeeping, for example, Paenibacillus larvae was formerly Bacillus larvae.

I feel a campaign coming on...


08 January 2024

Bees, honey, and soil productivity

Summary of research from the Department of the Bleedin' Obvious: Honey bees produce less honey in areas where the soil is less productive with fewer nectar-producing plants. 



06 January 2024


APICO is a laid-back beekeeping sim game about breeding, collecting, & conserving bees! Set in a series of lush environments, APICO uniquely combines resource gathering, biology, and beekeeping minigames, taking ideas from a mix of real-life and fantasy apiculture & floriculture.


04 January 2024

Apiary and Education

Help support our Apiary Garden and Education Centre which is a live resource for learning about the environment and pollinators. YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAtQQAiQwUI Filmed by fridaysky : www.fridaysky.co.uk Thanks to a generous legacy from a beekeeper, Jim Hopkins, together with donations from the public and corporate sponsors, the BBKA has been able to complete work on the office building and apiary garden to provide the facilities needed for an educational centre aimed at schools and community groups. Children are able to visit with their school class and learn about the importance of honey bees, pollinators and beekeeping in a relaxed and informal environment with the highlight of each visit being the chance to watch from behind a bee-proof mesh screen as a beekeeper opens a hive.  Lots of children get ‘bitten by the bug’ this way and, with their interest in beekeeping awakened, will hopefully return to it in later years. It’s im...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/gwJ7PvG
via gqrds

03 January 2024

In Colombia, illegally felled timber repurposed to help bees

Story source:  https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2024/1/2/photos-in-colombia-illegally-felled-timber-repurposed-to-help-bees

02 January 2024


    Ian Campbell, Newcastle & District BKA & BBKA Social Media Manager I’ve kept bees since 2009 in Newcastle upon Tyne. Beekeeping advice? Now there’s a poisoned chalice! Unsolicited advice is about as popular as an inbox full of spam! Over the years, I’ve learnt a core set of interventions that ensure colonies are healthy, pest-free, have adequate stores and minimal swarming. By sharing these, I hope to help you keep one step ahead. Leave alone Remember the age-old phrase: ‘First, do no harm.’ The work you did with autumn preparation was time well spent. Nature is now in the driving seat; even if you spot a problem, not much can be done about it now.              Photo:  David Wootton Equipment sales Think what you may need this season because you will always need more kit!  Full prices and long lead times later in the year can be painful. Pests and disease Varroa: Monitor first ...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/xNUkn6g
via gqrds

01 January 2024

22 December 2023

Spring Convention Research Poster Awards

BBKA Spring Convention Research Poster Awards      Thanks to sponsorship from the C.B. Dennis British Beekeeper's Research Trust, and to mark 150 years of the BBKA in 2024, applications are invited for Convention Research Poster Awards.  The intention of these awards is to enable researchers who would not otherwise present at the Convention to do so.  Accepted posters will be displayed 12th – 13th April and presented on Friday 12th, at the Convention at Harper Adams University, Shropshire, TF10 8NB.  Following the poster presentations, the author judged to have given the best poster and presentation, will be awarded a prize certificate and one year’s complimentary membership of the BBKA.   Applications are invited from UK based researchers for awards up to £400 maximum each.  The research presented should relate to honey bees and /or beekeeping. Four awards are expected to be made.   To apply: Applications must be r...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/clJTINZ
via gqrds

20 December 2023

Asian Hornet Briefing

Asian Hornet – Special Briefing for Beekeepers – update for 2024 Tuesday 16th January 2024, 7.00pm via Zoom This follow up briefing by Andrew Durham will cover: The situation as at the end of 2023 The effect on beekeeping The prospect for 2024 and beyond A report on the first year in operation of the new French National Plan for fighting the hornet Please use the following Zoom link to join the briefing: https://ift.tt/YIscqLE  Meeting ID: 847 6717 8392 Passcode: 162837

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/mpCTPeS
via gqrds

30 November 2023

Plan your BBKA Spring Convention

Planning for 2024 BBKA Spring Convention 2024 is the 150th anniversary of the founding of the British Beekeepers Association. There’s no better place to come and celebrate this than the BBKA’s Spring Convention! The planning for the Spring Convention starts long before Spring, and whilst some speakers and workshops have yet to be finalised, it’s going to be a really special event. If you’re feeling a bit “Zoomed out” then come along and participate in some real-world beekeeping activities. The Spring Convention has real-life speakers, workshops and seminars! The BBKA Spring Convention is held at Harper Adams University   near Newport, in Shropshire. The dates for 2024 are 12th - 14th April.  The one day Trade Show will be on Saturday 13th April. Many traders have special offers available to pre-order, as well as having new items of kit available to examine at the Show. The event is held across the campus in several buildings, with l...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/Fz1XTPJ
via gqrds

14 November 2023

Oakgrove School

November 2023 Oakgrove School, based in Milton Keynes, have been awarded 'Beacon School' status and they are delighted that educating their pupils on the enjoyment and importance of bees in the environment has been recognised by the BBKA.    BBKA President, Anne Rowberry, recently visited the school for a student-led tour of its apiary and to present the school with its Beacon School certificate. The school currently has 22 hives and runs a twice weekly Bee Club.  They also share their knowledge and best practice with other schools in the area and with the local community helping to demonstrate the value of beekeeping.  They sell some of their honey each year to help fund new equipment for the Bee Club. We came up with the idea of a beekeeping club in 2020.  I was chatting with the Deputy Head, Nic Irwin - Morris, about bees and mentioned I would love to become a beekeeper.  She asked why I wasn’t and I told her it was because I had nowher...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/onvh6f0
via gqrds

20 October 2023

BBKA National Honey Day

The British Beekeepers' Association celebrate National Honey Day on 21st October each year. We would like to invite you to share in this day when we will be encouraging everyone to buy a jar of local honey, produced by bees here in the UK.  Not only do we want to ensure people are aware of all the benefits honey provides but we are seeking to celebrate the pleasure of eating honey. Honey has been enjoyed all over the world for centuries, it was found in the Egyptian tombs and is often depicted being collected by bees in ancient cave drawings. During this day of celebration, you could encourage friends and family to share photos on social media: you and your jars of local honey! The things you do with your honey. Perhaps you eat it on toast or in porridge? Perhaps you bake with honey or make mead? Do you make cosmetics containing honey? Use the hashtags #NationalHoneyDay, #LocalHoney, #Beekeeping But we are concerned that consumers are able to buy a jar label...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/x2LgP9V
via gqrds

02 October 2023

Asian Hornets' eating habits

"Each established Asian hornet nest has been estimated to eat around 11kg of pollinators and other invertebrates per year." [https://www.farnhamherald.com/environment/farnham-beekeepers-issue-urgent-asian-hornet-warning-after-sightings-641095]

If a honeybee typically turns the scales at around 100mg, then 11kg = 110,000 bees, approximately two colonies.

28 September 2023


APICO is a laid-back beekeeping sim game about breeding, collecting, & conserving bees! Set in a series of lush environments, APICO uniquely combines resource gathering, biology, and beekeeping minigames, taking ideas from a mix of real-life and fantasy apiculture & floriculture.

Yes, really. https://whitethorngames.com/apico

26 September 2023

Government aid announced for beekeepers affected by wildfire

In Portugal. I had not realised the fires were so bad.
Full article: https://www.portugalresident.com/government-aid-announced-for-beekeepers-affected-by-wildfire/

21 September 2023

Peter Hewitt

A tribute to Peter Hewitt, a most respected beekeeper, exhibitor, speaker and so much more (28.9.1923 – 10.9.2023). Peter died at home, peacefully in his sleep, in the early morning of 10th September, just 18 days short of his 100th birthday. Born in an impoverished area of Birkenhead, Merseyside, Peter suffered from rickets in childhood, an unlikely beginning for such a long life. Although money was tight, he was a bright pupil and achieved a Leverhulme Scholarship to the local grammar school. This gained him access to the education provided, but the cost of extra-curricular activities was beyond the means of his family. With regard to the grammar school system, he described himself as “in it, but not of it.”. On leaving school, Peter began an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker at the Cammell Laird Shipyard. Here he had his first encounter with the craft of beekeeping, when an older workmate asked him to construct some wooden boxes. On completion, Peter discovered ...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/LR8X0n2
via gqrds

05 September 2023

Sustainability in Beekeeping

 At the 2023 ADM a proposition was passed requiring the BBKA to “seek to encourage the development of sustainability in all aspects of beekeeping”. It has been a challenge to define what sustainability is as it means different things to different people.  The BBKA has, therefore, kept the brief as wide as possible. An Area Association Discussion Forum was organised to talk about the different aspects of sustainability in beekeeping that might be considered.  These are just some of the topics which were discussed: ·         Car-free beekeeping ·         Queens ·         Feeding ·         Frames & Foundation ·         Hive Density ·         Equipment · &nbsp...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/n3x971m
via gqrds

31 August 2023

Beekeeping at the Scottish Parliament

Neat magazine story here: https://uk.style.yahoo.com/meet-18-old-beekeeper-looks-104658017.html 

As a full-time cynic, (a) it's curious that Eilidh chooses to wear leather gauntlets, which says to me that she's less than confident, and (b) may I suggest a quick wash of the bee-suits might be a good plan.

26 August 2023

Sentinel apiary

A sweet story, no less: https://uk.style.yahoo.com/sweet-chemist-emilys-250-000-180000188.html

Buried in the story: “The site is registered as an Enhanced Sentinel Apiary. This means that the National Bee Unit checks it for exotic pests and diseases,” explained Emily.

“It was requested for this monitoring due to its proximity to the ports. They are looking for any exotic pests and diseases arriving by boat which might attack the bees or affect their health. The idea is that anything would be spotted early and contained.”

Emily (whose last name is secret, it seems) is at The Wilton Centre, https://www.ukspa.org.uk/wilton-centre/

25 August 2023

Are Disabilities Barriers to Beekeeping?

Living with a disability makes you rethink many aspects of life, including whether you are able to become a beekeeper, as Zec Richardson explains. All photos are courtesy of Zec Richardson. I first took an interest in beekeeping around about 1994. One summer, every lunchtime at work, I would sit outside behind the aircraft hangar where some bees had nested in an old hut that had a hole in the door. I sat close by and some of the bees would land on me before going into the hive. It was then that I became interested in bees. My wife had always said that if we had a garden over 70 feet long, I could then have a hive as she is not the most confident with bees, wasps or anything that flies near her. When we moved into the property we are living in now, the garden was 100 feet long, but she laughed and said: “no chance”, before I had said anything. So, it was a shock when one day, out of the blue she turned to me and said: “Okay you can have a hive!” Weigh...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/40Yq8fQ
via gqrds

The inevitable UK rise of Asian Hornets (V velutina)

Neat report here: https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/asian-hornets-confirmed-london-first-092449212.html

23 August 2023

Asian Hornet Week 2023 - Special Briefings for Beekeepers

Due to unprecedented demand, and restricted meeting numbers, we are sadly not able to accommodate everyone via Zoom for these briefings.  Therefore, we will also be live streaming the briefings to YouTube to enable as many people as possible to attend. The YouTube link will be available from 7.00pm on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th September. YouTube link will be here. In light of the increased number of Asian Hornet nests in mainland UK in 2023, we have arranged a special Zoom briefing for beekeepers during Asian Hornet Week, split over two nights. Our speaker will be the Cambridgeshire Beekeeper, Andrew Durham, a regular contributor to the BBKA News on the Asian Hornet and who for over 9 years has been studying the Asian Hornet situation in France with regard to its effect on beekeeping.  Drawing on his own research and on a wide range of authoritative and regularly updated sources, from local beekeeping groups to national beekeeping organisations, and from local ad...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/c5VzrxE
via gqrds

22 August 2023

Becoming a Beekeeper

If you are interested in taking up the fascinating hobby of beekeeping you will no doubt have lots of questions and here we aim to provide some of the answers to help you find out exactly what might be involved. Keeping bees healthy and productive requires knowledge and skill. Beekeeping is made much easier by belonging to a local BBKA Association where you will be given advice, tuition and support.   Where do I start? Contact your local BBKA Association for advice and consider becoming a member.  Most associations run ‘Taster Days’ which are ideal for obtaining a basic understanding of bees and what is involved in beekeeping.  This can be followed by an ‘Introduction to Beekeeping’ course where you can learn some of the theory required to be a good beekeeper and gain valuable practical experience before you make any investment in equipment and honey bees.  Your local association will also be able to assign you a mentor who wi...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/k0JYP1f
via gqrds

18 August 2023

Find Beekeeping Near You

There are over 270 area associations and branches who serve their local community with support and education.   The majority offer beekeeping experiences and training courses, support local events and sell honey.  Whether you are in Northumberland or the Isle of Wight there is a network of support. They will all be able to help you on your way to becoming a successful beekeeper. *   Find out what's on offer in your area using our interactive map *   Enter you postcode in the box below and click on 'Find nearest beekeeping association' to find your nearest BBKA branch *   Clicking the 'bee' will show you further information including the website address for your local beekeeper's association Before using the map, please ensure you have enabled essential cookies otherwise it will not work correctly. For Scotland please see the Scottish Beekeepers' Association For Wales please see the Welsh Beekeepers' Association Honeybee I...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/1gAhDy7
via gqrds

14 August 2023

Royal Lancaster Hotel, London - plus Bees Abroad

The Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, keeps bees, and partners with Bees Abroad. Check out the "Bee Our Guest" offer from the hotel, https://www.royallancaster.com/promotions/bee-our-guest/


08 August 2023

Ivry-B hive adds to the long list of types: Langstroth, WBC, National, Top-Bar, Dadant, Warré, Smith, Flow...

The only thing is, feral colonies live for the most part in vertical cavities, such as hollow trees. For structural strength of the comb, bees naturally build comb with honey at the top, then pollen and brood. The extended horizontal pattern of the Ivry-B seems to go against that general principle.

07 August 2023

Does my swarm look big in this?

Looks like a *lot* of bees in Glasgie: https://www.thenational.scot/news/23619113.63rd-1st-glasgow-restaurant-forced-close-huge-bee-swarm/ 

04 August 2023

31 July 2023

August In the Apiary 2023

Karl Colyer The queen’s egg-laying rate will be reducing as the days start to shorten and forage generally tends to become less available. Followed closely behind this is a steady dwindling of bee numbers in the colony. August is one of the last months where there may be some flexibility and options for your bees and beekeeping management. Depending upon what forage is available and for how long, it does allow some preparations for next year to happen during this month. Timing your honey harvest For most beekeepers, there should be some honey surplus available to the beekeeper. How much you choose to take influences when you should take it and any supplementary actions needed to ensure there are adequate stores to get the bees through the winter. If you are at all unsure about how much honey to crop, you can be considerate to the bees and leave the first box of honey for them and the rest is for the beekeeper. This somewhat conservative approach negates the need to feed th...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/WSTYIXk
via gqrds

19 July 2023

Ron Hoskins

With great sadness I have to announce the death of Ronald A Hoskins (Ron) on 2 July 2023. A pioneer Master Beekeeper who was known across the world for his work on not only trying to teach the British but also Swiss Scientific Beekeepers about treatment free beekeeping (how it isn’t necessary to use chemicals to fight the influx of the Varroa Mite but by letting the bees do it themselves). He travelled to other countries as far away as Australia, New Zealand & Norway working with various scientists. It is regretful that Ron received very limited recognition of his life's work from some of those scientists and some other beekeepers who eventually changed their minds and are now using his method of treatment free. Ron travelled across Britain giving talks on his work for some time hoping that his success in Varroa control would be picked up and used by as many beekeepers as possible without chemical intervention. I had the privileg...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/aMlF2Bw
via gqrds

04 July 2023

July In the Apiary 2023

Karl Colyer Your colony is at its maximum size this month and the rate of egg-laying from the queen will now start to decline in line with the season. July is a good month to take stock of your beekeeping. Your colonies should be populous but not need feeding. Almost all your equipment should be in use and if you are short of anything, make a note of it for next year. Amending any issues with colonies in July can help them to successfully prepare for winter. Honey harvest preparations For most beekeepers, July enjoys a good nectar flow. It may be sensible to consider extracting some honey now so that supers can be recycled and refilled. Try to note which supers are removed from which hive – this helps to minimise disease transfer and it helps keep the supers in balance with the productivity of individual colonies. If you remove supers from the apiary to extract the honey at home, do remember that honey is food so avoid placing supers on the ground or onto dusty or dirty su...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/xsq9nwI
via gqrds

28 June 2023

The average bee is one hundred times brainier than me

Bees are astonishingly good at making decisions – and our computer model explains how that’s possible

Published: June 27, 2023 8.00am BST https://theconversation.com/bees-are-astonishingly-good-at-making-decisions-and-our-computer-model-explains-how-thats-possible-208189

Well, hype-headline to one side, the article includes a note about a bee's "tiny yet remarkable brain."

A honeybee brain possesses around 1 million neurons, which gives a neurons-to-mass ratio of 1,000,000n:0.0001kg, normalised to 10,000,000,000:1.

Human brains comprise around 10,000,000,000 neurons; and as an example, I am around 100kg. Presuming I have the average number of brain neurons (optimistic, but run with it), my neurons-to-mass ratio is 100,000,000:1.

On that measure, the average bee is one hundred times brainier than me.

23 June 2023

US honeybees suffer second deadliest season on record

Alarming news: US honeybees suffer second deadliest season on record

Nearly 50% of US bee colonies died off last year, although efforts have helped the overall bee population remain ‘relatively stable’ 


11 June 2023

Miel - Fleurs Sauvage

Purchased for €10 in Le Touquet. The reverse label says "Récolté en Espagne, conditionné en France." Tastes very sugary.


09 June 2023

How's that?

Cricket Ireland forced to call out beekeeper after unexpected swarm delays domestic clash


08 June 2023

UAE beekeepers are adapting to climate change

Nice piece here https://uk.news.yahoo.com/uae-beekeepers-adapting-climate-change-195914193.html 

“With temperatures that could reach 50 degrees (122 Fahrenheit), 45 degrees (113 Fahrenheit), bees can't survive in these hot temperatures. We can overcome this by placing the bees under large canopies, we also make sure there are water sprinklers around. Also, we were able to develop a strain of bees that can survive the heat in the UAE. Through genetic manipulation, we were able to choose certain genes in the bees that allow the queen bee to live in hot temperatures. We chose the genes in the bee that allow for the queen bee to survive in high temperatures.”

06 June 2023

Asian Hornet Sighting - Canterbury, Kent

From BeeBase https://www.nationalbeeunit.com/about-us/beekeeping-news/asian-hornet-sighting-canterbury-kent/

Asian Hornet Sighting - Canterbury, Kent

On Sunday 28th May a bee farmer, whilst doing a routine apiary inspection near Canterbury, Kent, recognised an Asian hornet that had been attracted to the colonies and knocked it down. The NBU has collected the specimen which will be analysed by scientists and follow up activities will take place to raise awareness.

Please report sightings of Vespa velutina using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for iPhone and Android, or the online reporting form.


Putting hornets on the genomic map

Hornets, specifically Vespa velutina, possess a remarkable sense of smell, which enables them to find and adapt to new prey, which in turn explains the rapid, invasive spread to new environments.


02 June 2023

Backpacking bees


Tiny backpack for bees can track their position and temperature

A sensor around a millimetre in size has been tested to monitor a honeybee flying around some flowers. It could also work for medical monitoring inside a person's body


01 June 2023

Bees; sentient, but not as we know it

Yes, bees are sentient - and so are slugs, fish, monkeys, dogs and people. 

Being sentient comes in degrees. Generally, I accept that other people are sentient because they are likely to be somewhat similar to me; their me-like behaviour persuades me that they are sentient.

That's the case we make for dogs. Exhibiting happiness, guilt, and hunger create a persuasive case that dogs are sentient. Monkeys, probably the same though perhaps a little less, mainly because we know less about their behaviour. 

As for fish and slugs, we have so little in common with them that we tend not to think of them as sentient. It might be reasonable to say "Sentient, but not as we know it."

Which leads to a sliding scale, and bees are on it: they are sentient, but not as we know it.


Asian hornet

25 May 2023

Bees, flowers, and beer

This year's Manchester Flower Festival offers the opportunity to "try beekeeping," and mix cocktails featuring honey produced from the Printworks' own bees.

What's odd is that the article [https://secretmanchester.com/manchester-printworks-honeyworks/] fails to mention the long association of bees with Manchester. 

16 May 2023

Guerlain celebrates World Bee Day with third annual fund-raising campaign

Well I never! 

LVMH-owned beauty and fragrance house Guerlain is celebrating World Bee Day with its third annual fundraising campaign to support its bee conservation programme.

Between 20 May (World Bee Day) and 22 May (International Day of Biological Diversity), the brand is donating 20% of global sales to support the initiative.


12 May 2023


Here's a nice piece:

The relationship between Wales and Ukraine has got even sweeter with the launch of a new honey that encapsulates the essence of both countries.

Wainwright’s Ukranian Sunflower honey is the result of a collaboration between Ceredigion-based Wainwright’s Bee Farm and Ukrainian producer Honey Brothers.

Read more here: https://businessnewswales.com/new-honey-cultivates-collaboration-between-wales-ukraine/

08 May 2023

Funereal Bees or Coronation Bees?

Some piffle in The Mail about the bees at Buck House and Clarence House: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/royal-beekeeper-places-charles-bees-under-security-for-coronation/

The photo appears to show the hives with funeral sashes, presumably for the death of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

05 May 2023

Bandwagon Beekeeping

"A Shropshire councillor and hobbyist beekeeper has released jars of honey for sale to mark King Charles's coronation."


25 April 2023

Find a local Swarm Collector

Enter your postcode below and then click on the red markers which appear nearest the 'bee' for details of your local swarm collector. If you can't find a swarm collector local to you on this map please get in touch with your local beekeeping association. Please note that swarm collectors from south of the Thames cannot assist with swarms across the water in Essex. Our volunteer beekeepers can only assist in cases of swarms of honey bees. Before using the map please ensure you have enabled essential cookies otherwise it will not work correctly. For Scotland please see Scottish Beekeepers Association For Wales please also see Welsh Beekeepers Association To support the work of the BBKA please DONATE HERE

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/PyJdVk8
via gqrds

10 March 2023

Beekeeping Age, says Tik Tok

So we are told, “beekeeping age” refers to attractive men around 40 or 50 years old, intended as a compliment. Given that I am waaaaaay past my beekeeping age, and the source of this wonderment is Tik Tok, this new learning amazes me.


Anyway, I always refer to beekeeping age as the number of hives each year multiplied by the number of years. For example, if you keep three hives for two years and then four hives for the next three years, your beekeeping age is 3x2 + 4x3 = 18. For me, that makes sense. A commercial beekeeper like Stewart Spinks with several hundred hives is likely to learn and know more than a hobbyist with three hives, so Stewart's beekeeping age is perhaps 200x10, ie 2,000. And that, of course, is his actual age, too.


04 March 2023

Politicians and their Pets

Well, I'm not sure I would count my bees as "pets"... Here's a piece on a councillor in Speyside, Juli Harris: https://www.holyrood.com/inside-politics/view,councillor-juli-harris-beekeeping-and-me

02 March 2023

Beekeeping in Portugal

Apparently beekeepers in the Algarve region of Portugal produce more than 1,000 tonnes of honey every year. As a massive fan of all things Portuguese, all I can say is "Maravilhosa" (feminine, on the grounds that the queen and her worker bees are of the female persuasion).

Story here: https://www.portugalresident.com/beekeeping-continues-to-motivate-algarve-entrepreneurs/

09 February 2023

Edward (Ted) Chatley

The Twickenham and Thames Valley Beekeepers' Association (TTVBKA) has announced the sad passing of Edward (Ted) Chatley, who was a central figure in the association for more than 40 years. Ted gave years of selfless dedication to the Equipment Trading Scheme and was always ready to give advice to other beekeepers.  Ted stars in the TTVBKA's award-winning centenary film and appeared on more Honey Show shields than anyone in the association’s history. He kept bees since 1974 and won the trophy for best extracting comb more than 14 times! Ted will be greatly missed and leaves a large hole in the fabric of the beekeeping community.

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/xpBu1FP
via gqrds

08 February 2023

Decline in wild bee species


Decline in wild bee species richness associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) abundance in an urban ecosystem

Worth reading: https://peerj.com/articles/14699/

Another Beckham's Bees story

Here's the man. Good work, fella!


05 February 2023

Sticky situation: Spanish beekeepers bathe themselves in honey to demand help for ‘dying’ sector

Watch the sticky video here -- https://www.msn.com/en-gb/cars/news/sticky-situation-spanish-beekeepers-bathe-themselves-in-honey-to-demand-help-for-dying-sector/vi-AA1750N1

I sympathise with the difficulties, but am not sure about the wish for subsidies. 

27 January 2023

Ulster Beekeepers' Association

The Ulster Beekeepers' Association will hold the Annual Conference in CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, Antrim on Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18.

The theme is 'Building Sustainable Beekeeping', and the keynote speaker will be Professor Juliana Rangel, of Texas A and M University.

Tickets can be booked via: https://buytickets.at/ulsterbeekeepersassociation.

26 January 2023



18 January 2023

Spring Convention Trade Show

Not for Profit Exhibition Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd  & Trade Show  Saturday 22nd The Trade Show will be open on Saturday 22nd this year with all main suppliers and leading companies represented. Trade Show Exhibition Saturday 08.30 - 16.30 Trade Show Only day tickets, are available at £6 on Saturday at reception in the Faccenda building. All on the day payments by card please. (See Pp 44-47 of the Full Programme)  On both Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd April, attendees are welcome to browse the Not for Profit exhibition, including the main BBKA stand, in the Regional Food Academy foyer. Then on Saturday 22nd only, 08.30 – 16.30 you can add to your beekeeping kit in the Commercial Trade Show, in the Sports Hall and Students Union. Thanks to our traders, advertisers and sponsors we are able to keep the cost of Convention tickets competitive. There will be time before and between lectures to buy what you need and to see wha...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/kE8D91A
via gqrds

11 January 2023

10 January 2023


If you have a research proposal that you believe would be of interest to the BBKA then please contact us by email to request an application form: bbka@bbka.org.uk Please be aware that we need at least 6 – 8 weeks to appraise all requests.  It is important, therefore, to allow sufficient time for all applications to be considered as there will not be an instant reply to any submissions. Unfortunately, we are not able to fund research in overseas areas or offer any funding to overseas researchers.  Also, we are not able to fund or assist with new equipment for beekeeping, new feed or treatment products or support commercial products. All requests for funding are submitted to the Research Committee which comprises elected BBKA Trustees.  If the Research Committee, in conjunction with an expert panel, believes the application is valid and of interest it will then go to the BBKA Executive Committee for final approval of funding. We are also approached by researcher...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/aVDZFbd
via gqrds

Previous Research Projects

Projects which the BBKA has supported in the past and which have now been completed are listed here:   Professor Juliet Osborne and Dr Peter Kennedy, University of Exeter:  Prey Spectrum of Asian Hornets. This project looked specifically at the prey of the hornet, a really interesting topic about which little is currently known.  Previous work mostly used microscopic remains of species which did not give a true picture.  The aim was to use next-generation DNA barcoding using the COI gene to identify the prey species accurately.  They worked with partners in France, Jersey and Spain who collected samples from hornet nests which were then brought back for studying. Further information is available here. Prof Steve Martin, University of Salford:  Understand the evolution of natural Varroa tolerance mechanisms in the UK beekeeping population. Click here to read the BBKA News article published in October 2021 Dr R Vinkenoog, Northumbria U...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/SR8szA4
via gqrds

Area Associations

A number of BBKA Associations undertake research in separately managed projects or sometimes as part of a main BBKA project. It is recognised that some Associations have both the necessary expertise and the enthusiasm to carry out or support research into beekeeping.  The BBKA can help and if more information is required then please contact us by email: bbka@bbka.org.uk In the current climate of rising costs and continuing restrictions on research budgets the BBKA is pleased to welcome funds from any Associations who wish to support beekeeping research.  Any funds donated for research will be ringfenced from general funds and only used for research.

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/t32AX6D
via gqrds

06 January 2023

January In the Apiary 2023

                                                                                                                             Karl Colyer A new year for you and for your bees. Karl will share reminders, tips and ideas each month to help your bees and your beekeeping. Hi Everybody. I am just an ordinary beekeeper who is conscious of the cost of beekeeping, excited by the wonder of nature and lives a busy life, as we all do, so I am always looking for simple and effective ways to keep my bees happy and productive, and my beekeeping sustainable. Resources for your bees Food stores in your hive(s) should still be abundant at this time of year, but do not be tempted to ope...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/1D85mX7
via gqrds

04 January 2023

The Beekeeper of Aleppo world premiere reveals cast

The Beekeeper of Aleppo debuts at Nottingham Playhouse (3 to 25 February), before heading to Liverpool Playhouse (1 to 11 March), Salisbury Playhouse (21 to 25 March), New Theatre Cardiff (28 March to 1 April), Theatre Severn Shrewsbury (4 to 8 April), Gaiety Theatre Dublin (11 to 15 April), The Lowry Salford (18 to 22 April), Theatre Royal Glasgow (25 to 29 April), Richmond Theatre (2 to 6 May), Theatre Royal Norwich (9 to 13 May), Cambridge Arts Theatre (16 to 20 May), Belgrade Theatre Coventry (23 to 27 May), Leeds Playouse (31 May to 3 June), Theatre Royal Newcastle Upon Tyne (6 to 10 June), Birmingham Rep (13 to 17 June), Theatre Royal Plymouth (20 to 24 June) and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford (27 June to 1 July).

Details https://www.whatsonstage.com/nottingham-theatre/news/the-beekeeper-of-aleppo-world-premiere-cast_58097.html

29 December 2022

Beeswax from Scottish Parliament's hives is used to seal every Act


Holyrood’s bee population has grown to more than half a million bees since 2014 when the parliament became the first legislature in the UK to have beehives. There are now 11 beehives onsite. Honey from the hives is often on sale in the Scottish Parliament gift shop. And the beeswax, a by-product of beekeeping, is used to seal every act passed by the Scottish Parliament and to fill the Great Seal of Scotland.

15 December 2022

Ian McLean

Ian passed away in December 2022.  He was a true stalwart of Ormskirk & Croston, the Association and NBU.  He will be sadly missed by all.   For those who hadn't the privilege of knowing Ian, he was recently awarded his BBKA '50 years of Beekeeping' certificate at Ormskirk & Croston's AGM and here is the accompanying citation: Ian started beekeeping in 1972 and shortly afterwards enrolled on the first BBKA Correspondence Course. This culminated in being awarded the Wax Chandlers Prize for the best senior candidate in 1980. He joined the Exam Board of which he was Moderator for about 9 years, and in 1984 gained the NDB. As a BBKA examiner he examined many beekeepers at varying levels over the years. Around 1990 he was seconded by IBRA to GTZ, the German overseas aid agency teaching beekeeping in Pakistan. When the funding for this ceased in 1992 he returned to the UK to hear that varroa had been found in Devon and subsequently was employed by M...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/z8R1pea
via gqrds

01 December 2022

Entomologists have found that honey bee lifespans are 50% shorter than in the 1970s

Entomologists from the University of Manitoba have found that for individual honey bees kept in a controlled laboratory environment, honey bee lifespans are 50% shorter than in the 1970s. When scientists modelled the effect of today’s shorter lifespans, the results corresponded with concerning factors, including increased colony loss and reduced honey production.

PS My life is definitely shorter now than it was in the 1970s.

30 November 2022

Bee listening devices

This gizmo is designed to listen to pollinator activity, for beekeepers to monitor activity with a view to interventions.

Find out more here https://www.agrisound.io/ and look at the kit here https://www.arnia.co/shop

09 November 2022

High Life

On top of the world at Manchester Cathedral.


Years ago I was invited to keep bees on the top of a building, and took a tour of the roof. Apart from the aircon units, phone masts, and assorted aerials, it all looked good, with a well-protected central area. The hang-up: six flights of external stairs. Not for me!

07 November 2022

It's not just honey, it's Marks & Spencer honey


From https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/food-and-drink/perthshire-queen-bee-breeder-helps-create-marks-spencer-honey-3905259

Norman Chapman

1924 to 2022 Dad was born and raised in Beckenham, Kent, the youngest of five. His older brother was killed during the war; he had three older sisters. When he was 12 years old, he watched from his bedroom window as the Crystal Palace burned down.  From school he had a tool making apprenticeship, then was called up to the RAF during the second world war but demobbed before completing navigator training.  He then studied as an electronics engineer.  His background supported his interest in adapting and developing all the gadgets he needed for his beekeeping, and resulted in him collecting the ideas, tips and tricks together for his first book “Constructive Beekeeping” which I edited and published. He commented that it was the sort of book he wished he’d had when starting beekeeping. After the end of the war, two of his sisters had a double wedding where he met his wife, Joan, my mother.  She and Connie, one of Dad’s sisters had been poste...

from British Beekeepers Association https://ift.tt/XPxLVml
via gqrds