Category Archives: Experimentation

Meditations on the Learning from the Bees conference

At the end of August the world’s first major international gathering of natural beekeepers, Learning from the Bees, took place in the Netherlands. The atmosphere had a festival vibe and concentrated on healthy bees and improving the environment, rather than … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Experimentation, Honey bee research, Log hive, Pesticides, Research, Skeps, Sun Hive, TBH, Warré | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Hive insulation using cork

There has been considerable interest over the years in the use of hive insulation to provide an environment for the bees that is closer to their natural habitat of the interior of a hollow tree trunk. Reported benefits include reduced … Continue reading

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ONBG meeting, 22nd Sept 2018 – hive hacks and natural selection

16 beekeepers clustered at Gareth’s house (warm and dry) and his experimental apiary (damp and chilly) to discuss bees and eat cake. Gareth, who’s kept bees since at least the 1970’s, recounted experiences from the recent Learning for the Bees … Continue reading

Posted in Apiary visits, Experimentation, Hives, Honey, Honey bee research, Local lore, Meetings, Pests, Stings, Warré | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Hive at Kew Gardens

A pair of magpies have made their nest high in the ‘Hive‘ sculpture in Kew Gardens. They saw a chance to steal a space amidst the shine of aluminium, and are filling it with branches and twigs from the trees … Continue reading

Posted in Hives, Technology, Uncategorized | 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

ONBG meeting, 13th May 2017 – swarms and exotic hives

Eighteen folk met at Gareth’s apiary in West Oxfordshire, where he experiments with hive variations and populates them with free mated bees descended from the extensive population of local ferals. Gareth is a trustee of the Natural Beekeeping Trust, has … Continue reading

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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