Author Archives: pritchard237

Storms, swarms and ox-born bees

Oxford: the day after Storm Ophelia. I was walking home through the suburbs, and looking for bees. A beekeeper in Liverpool had reported an October swarm, possibly brought on by the unusual weather, so I was watching for swarm-scouts, or for … Continue reading

Posted in Local lore, Swarms, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Arrivals: The Rat Box Bees

There are now colonies in both of my hives. The Brexit Day colony are still strong, their entrance crowded with constant forage-traffic. Beside them are the Rat Box Bees, new arrivals to the garden. Their entrance is less busy – usually one … Continue reading

Posted in Experimentation, Hives, Swarms, TBH, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

After a sting

I am indoors. The garden is filled with late-summer light, and through the bathroom window I watch the flightpaths of the bees, rising up beyond the shed roof. But I am staying indoors. A week ago, I reacted badly to … Continue reading

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The ‘other’ bees: Steven Falk workshop

A few months ago, the news was filled with stories about intelligent bumblebees. New research showed that they could learn to pull strings and play football. As a ‘bee’ person I was interested, but I had a strange feeling that … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Ecology, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Cob beehive – an experimental top-bar hive adaption

One of the key pieces of advice for any new beekeeper is to have at least two populated-hives. In the event that a hive becomes queenless, brood-comb from another can be moved to it (so the bees can raise an emergency … Continue reading

Posted in Experimentation, Hives, TBH, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Bee Meeting: North Tawton and South Leigh

In 1962 Sylvia Plath wrote The Bee Meeting, a poem in which she describes her experience of attending a meeting of beekeepers in North Tawton, a village in Devon. Last weekend, fifty-five years later, the Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping Group gathered … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Event, Hives, Meetings, ONBG, Publications, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Two swarms in the same hive: an update

Last summer, I wrote about the arrival of two swarms into the same hive. A wild swarm had settled in the empty top-bar-hive in my garden, and a week later a second swarm moved in. The arrival of this second swarm … Continue reading

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