29 March 2020

Starvation in a land of plenty

Another colony lost to starvation. In this case, they had eaten all the winter fondant and a fair bit of the fondant placed on the hive in Janyuary - about 1 kg in total - but it was too far from the cluster.

I heard of a near-by apiary where 7/8 of the colonies have starved this winter.


24 March 2020

Temporary Office Closure March 2020

Office Temporary Closure  The BBKA is closing the office for 3 weeks due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. During this time no orders from the shop will be processed.  The phone lines will still be answered but please bear with the staff during this time as there may be delays. The phone lines are being redirected but only one call can be taken at a time. It will be easier for staff if you send an email to bbka@bbka.org.uk or direct to the team member if you know their email address. Advice for beekeepers tending hives during Covid-19 Pandemic  Swarm Collection curing Covid-19 Pandemic  If you are enquiring about Swarms please see our swarm page If you have a beekeeping question please join the BBKA Forum If you have made an order from the shop after 24/3/2020 it will not be processed until staff return to the office. If you have a question about Asian hornets please see our AHAT map page If your question relates to be added as an AH...

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21 March 2020

Very annoying

At times like this you regret having docile bees, and dream of a feisty colony chasing the vandals high and low...

20 March 2020

Dead clever


17 March 2020

Cash crop - and it's not the honey

According to this piece, migratory beekeeping can earn up to $200,000. Crikey.


Beekeepers can make $200,000 in a few weeks by sending hives across the country, says Matias Viel of pollination start-up Beeflow Photo: Gabriela Hasbun, https://www.gabrielahasbun.com/ 

08 March 2020

The Nineteenth Tee

Spotted at the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club. Very nicely kept hives, and all busy on a mild March morning.

29 February 2020


On a warm day I checked my colonies, Jericho beekeeping style, and saw that there were no flying bees from one colony.

Closer inspection showed that they had starved. There were plenty of stores, but probably out of reach during the cold snaps. Like Stewart's video, the colony had fondant, which they had earlier been eating.

Found a relevant video from Norfolk Honey.

26 February 2020

Kangaroo Island Bees

The bush fires in Australia have devastated Kangaroo Island, apparently one of the few places where pure strains of Ligurian bees flourish.

This fella is trying to rebuild his business - https://gogetfunding.com/bee-keeper-needs-funds-after-bush-fires-in-kangaroo-island-south-australia/

23 February 2020

How bees argue

Great article here, http://www.overcomingbias.com/2020/01/how-bees-argue.html

I particularly like the overcomingbias.com statement:

"This is a blog on why we believe and do what we do, why we pretend otherwise, how we might do better, and what our descendants might do, if they don't all die."

Note: We, and our descendants, are all going to die, but you get what they mean.

20 February 2020

Controlling varroa

The Bad Beekeeping Blog has a nice summary of some academic articles on controlling varroa. Read them here: https://badbeekeepingblog.com/2020/02/15/a-guide-to-controlling-varroa/

Scott Bauer, USDA

18 February 2020

Extra Bee Health Course

Due to the high demand for places on the Bee Health Courses that the BBKA are running in March, we have arranged an additional date - Sunday 29th March 2020 at the National Beekeeping Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth.  For more details and to book a place, please go to the shop on the BBKA website. https://ift.tt/2HBI7DO This email has been sent to all Area Association eR2 Managers, would you please share this information with your branches and members? -ends- 

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06 February 2020

Trustees 2020

Trustees The BBKA was founded in 1874 and originally brought together some 26 county beekeeping associations, not to replicate their work, but to be in a stronger position to represent their interests at government level and to facilitate a nationwide educational structure supported by a common examination process. Currently we run as an umbrella to our 74 Associations. Each Association has one elected member who votes on all things beekeeping in the UK, at our Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM), at the beginning of every year.  Appointed at the ADM are the President and 12 Trustees, who collectively comprise the Executive Committee (EC) that is the governing body of the BBKA. Delegates may adopt propositions at the Annual Delegate Meeting that provide policy direction to the EC. We are now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)  This page lists the trustees for 2020.  This page also includes an email address for each trustee as well as information about w...

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28 January 2020

Bargains at the Spring Convention

The Spring Convention Trade Show is a wonderful place to shop for beekeeping bargains. Many of the bee companies offer special discounts for Spring Convention purchases which means you save lots of money on your equipment. It's a wonderful opportunity to have the chance to look at new equipment too, and to meet the lovely staff from these shops who package up your orders.  If you're new to beekeeping then it is an opportunity to look at bee hives and make decisions about what sort you'd like to work with.  If you pre-order from suppliers you can meet them at their pick up points to collect your orders.  You will need a wristband to enter the trade show, you can buy this at the reception on arrival.  Trade Show (Saturday) Only Wristband is JUST £5 On-The-Day - no advance purchase needed The Trade Show Only Wristband does not give access to lectures, workshops or seminars. It does give you access to  ‘Speakers Corner’ wher...

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Iran Ranks Among Top Honey Producers in the World - and check out the Bee Venom

Iran produces more than 80,000 tons of honey every year, Agricultural Ministry officials said during a ceremony held to unveil achievements in the beekeeping industry recently.
CEO of Beekeeping Industry Expansion Support Fund Behzad Bankipour said that over the past five years, Iran’s beekeeping industry shifted its focus from producing only one main product, namely honey, to producing other bee secretions such as royal jelly and bee venom, Fars News Agency reported. 
According to Morteza Rezaei, deputy agriculture minister for livestock affairs, said each gram of bee venom is exported at around $80. [my emboldening]

22 January 2020

Blue Monday vs Beekeepers' Mental Health

One of the big advantages of beekeeping is that it diverts me entirely from cares of the day.

Confronted with yet another bee-behaviour situation that I don't know how to manage, I have no remaining head-space to wallow in the ludicrous piffle of Blue Monday, for example.

Right now, I'm thinking only one thing: will the bees survive the winter?

21 January 2020

Always more to learn

Now here's a thing. In Adrian and Claire Waring's book "Get Started In Beekeeping," they mention as a throwaway comment that over-spinning frames can lead to honey laced with fine bubbles.


20 January 2020

How much does a jar of honey cost?

If you're p-honey, a 340g jar sells for £9.00 (£26.47/kg, or £12.00 for a one-pound jar).

The web site www.p-honey was not available when I visited. I found an article in the local press.


18 January 2020

Hallucenogenic Honey!

Hallucenogenic Honey!

Every day I am more totes amaze than yesters: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/16/creating-a-buzz-turkish-beekeepers-risk-life-and-limb-to-make-mad-honey

 Kutluata makes traditional hives of lindenwood in his workshop above the village of Yaylacılar.
Photograph: Gökçe Saraçoğlu

17 January 2020

Get started in beekeeping

For such a modest title, this book is full of gold:

Suitable both for those just considering the prospect and those who are already fascinated beekeepers, this guide to setting up, maintaining and maximising bees in the back garden is an indispensable and readable bible of information and practical advice.
It covers everything from bee behaviour to what to do with honey, and balances all the background context on bee biology with the day-to-day and seasonal practicalities of running hives in any location, in the country or the city, and for colonies of all sizes.
Supporting resources include a 'bee calendar', troubleshooting section, illustrations, photos, a glossary and details of courses and organizations, in an essential guide for anyone who is fascinated by the ancient ways of the apiarist.

15 January 2020

Thiacloprid ban


Congratulations to all those who passed their Basic Assessment in Beekeeping in 2019!

We hope you all have an excellent year beekeeping in 2020 - well done on a fantastic achievement. Basic_Results_for_2019.pdf

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14 January 2020

10 January 2020

Like sending bees to war

Fascinating article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/07/honeybees-deaths-almonds-hives-aoe

Dennis Arp stands for a portrait outside Rye, Arizona.
Photograph: Caitlin O’Hara/The Guardian

Dennis is also US winner of Dirtiest Beesuit 2019

09 January 2020

Foxed by Sophie Allport

I think I may have all of Sophie Allport's bee-related merchandise (https://www.sophieallport.com/collections/bees).

I'm thinking of keeping foxes instead.

08 January 2020

Cup Gum Honey (how much does a jar of honey cost?)

Cup Gum honey, from Kangaroo Island, off the coast of Adelaide, Australia. The island claims to be the oldest bee sanctuary in the world and is the only place where true ligurian bees are known to exist. The hives were brought to the island in 1888 and their descendants are still producing light, delicate honey flavoured with eucalyptus and local flora – with a hint of caramel.
Seen in WBKA news January 2020

07 January 2020

2020 Spring Convention - Everything you need to know

Friday 3, Saturday 4, Sunday 5 April 2020 The Beekeeping Event of the Year! 20+ Lectures; 50+ Workshops & Seminars for all levels of beekeeping experience including BBKA Funded Research Session Friday Large Trade Show Saturday  ♦ Not for Profit Exhibitors Friday and Saturday Excellent facilities; great value catering and accommodation available Book Now Click on the BLUE links below for more information  Download the Full Programme or FAQS Read How to Book using the web-based system. AVAILABLE AFTER MONDAY 13th January 12 noon booking for Wristbands, Workshops & Seminars, Accommodation and Dinners. Click for the three day Events Schedules . Details of the Lecture Programme are here Workshops & Seminars information is here; please read before booking. Tradeshow Saturday 4th only; all the main suppliers/leading companies Read about Accommodation & Catering here Getting from Priorslee to HarperAdams Activi...

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Fortnum & Mason (How much does a jar of honey cost?)

Presumably honey from masonry bees. See https://www.fortnumandmason.com/products/truffle-honey-200g, £14.95 / 200g (ie about £33.90/lb)