Category Archives: Research

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 | 4 Comments

Angry bees

This article dispels the myth that our native black bees are inherently ‘bad’, i.e. overly-defensive, and instead sets out the real genetic basis of why crossing bee races, black or otherwise, can lead to hybrids which are predisposed to be … Continue reading

Posted in Honey bee research, Stings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Open mating and genetics – Drones

Conventional beekeepers aiming to maximise honey production suppress swarms, replace queens with ones from breeders, and cull drones as a “waste of resources”. This post covers some of the less discussed, subtle implications of drone genetics; and advantages of queens … Continue reading

Posted in Honey bee research, Research, Swarms | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bees nest in a tree (not quite)

The picture shows an apple tree in the garden next door. Faith spotted the comb after the leaves came down in Autumn 2016. In between seeing it and taking this photo something has been munching the edges somewhat; it was … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Garden plants, Honey bee research, Local lore, Swarms | Leave a comment

New research on natural selection and honey bee health

An interesting paper by heavyweight apiology researchers Professor Peter Neumann and Dr Tjeerd Blacquière is being published in the mainstream, peer reviewed research journal Evolutionary Applications. The paper recommends major changes to beekeeping practises in order to address various health … Continue reading

Posted in Experimentation, Honey bee research, Pests, Publications, Research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Racial profiling of North Oxfordshire mongrels

Like many natural beekeepers, I am interested in having locally adapted bees, especially tough “survivor stock” from unmanaged feral colonies which thrive without treatments for varroa mites. In observing my several swarm-caught colonies, all gathered ‘locally’, I have always wondered … Continue reading

Posted in Experimentation, Honey bee research, Local lore, Research, Swarms | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Beekeepers under the microscope

In late September, I went on an introductory course on microscopy led by master beekeeper Marin Anastasov. He led a dozen of us through the basics of using microscopes and their applications in beekeeping. Subjects covered included disease diagnosis (nosema, … Continue reading

Posted in Honey, Pests, pollen, Research | Tagged , , | 6 Comments