Natural Bee Husbandry – a new journal for our community

natural-bee-husbandry-journalNatural Bee HusbandryThe International Journal for Bee-Centred Husbandry is a new quarterly journal focused entirely on low intervention, sustainable, bee-centred beekeeping.

It is being launched next month by Northern Bee Books  at £20 a year for print (UK), £15 for online only, and £25 for both.

With four issues a year (five the first year), purely around natural beekeeping there will be no need to wade through irrelevant conventional beekeeping articles.

Subscribe via the Natural Beekeping Trust website  here and, if you use FB, you can see snippets of the articles here.

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Asian Hornet found in UK

The National Bee Unit have confirmed today 20th September 2016 that the Asian hornet has been spotted in Tetbury area of Gloucestershire. A control zone is being set up within a radius of three miles of the sighting and a search for nests made. Bee inspectors have been put on alert. Continue reading

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ONBG meeting and apiary visit, 10th Sept 2016

Over the course of an occasionally rainy afternoon 18 people dropped by Paul’s house and apiary in the village of Steeple Aston to discuss Autumn tasks, winter stores assessment, feeding, harvesting, and observe various Warré and Top Bar hives and feral colonies.

group_montage

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BeeConnected – crop spraying alerts for UK beekeepers

In the UK, September heralds the start of a new crop spraying season and while the moratorium on neonicotinoids is still in place, other insecticides are still in use.

The code for best agricultural practice calls for farmers to notify local beekeepers in advance when insecticides are to be applied, so that hives may be moved or closed up. However, this communication is not always done, no doubt beset for some with logistical and awareness issues. But on 12th September a new tool was launched to help all parties communicate more easily – BeeConnected is an online crop spraying registration and alert system for farmers and beekeepers alike. Continue reading

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Spreading the Bee Buzz #9 – Local Bees

The latest in our series on beekeeping for a village magazine – written for non-beekeepers, and to suit the broad range of ages and knowledge among the readers.

Beekeepers have sometimes imported foreign breeds. Some large-scale bee farmers still do this, particularly with Italian bees which characteristically create huge colonies, useful for pollination services and large honey yields. But these are not adapted to our climate or seasonal forage rhythms and so can require support such as feeding; and their continuous breeding over winter favours the co-breeding of the varroa mite.

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Pertwood farm visit, 13th August 2016

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view across Pertwood fields

Eight of the ONBG headed to Wiltshire to visit the first tree hive to be setup in the UK. This is at Pertwood farm, a source of excellent muesli.

Lower Pertwood Farm is a 2,100 acre farm that has been organic for nearly 30 years. They are active in supporting the wildlife on the farm and have seen red listed birds increase in number as a result. Active example: in early spring they are distributing 2 tons of bird feed a week. This greatly benefits the corn bunting, linnets and yellowhammers. More details on the back of a pack of their (great) muesli or here. Their sympathetic farming methods result in large areas of the farm being virtually untouched by humans.

We joined about 30 other bee enthusiasts plus Jonathan Powell, Nick Adams, Pertwood’s wildlife specialist and Chris who seemed to know everything about the farm itself. Continue reading

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ONBG meeting & apiary visit, 30th July 2016

Gareth's ApiaryOn a lovely calm day at the end of July, 20 of us gathered at Gareth’s place in West Oxfordshire to share a meal and see a large happy apiary. Gareth has not treated his hives for ~5+ years now and the bees are thriving; and following his extremely calm and low-interventionist  approach, the bees too are calm and protective gear was totally unnecessary, even on opening the hives.

Gareth is a founder and trustee of the Natural Beekeeping Trust and has 45 years’ experience keeping bees. He makes his own hives and has been evaluating novel variations on old favourites, inspired by research around the world. We were able to inspect some of these hives, talk over apiary management practices, and share our experiences. Continue reading

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