Category Archives: Research

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

Posted in Experimentation, Hives, Research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Where are all the swarms this year?

The bees in this area have been acting very unusually this season: firstly high mortality at the end of winter, and now far fewer swarms than usual. We’ve been discussing this amongst ourselves and here are some preliminary conclusions.

Posted in Ecology, Garden plants, Local lore, Swarms | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

ONBG meeting, 20th May 2018 – TBHs and tall tales

An anarchic group of beekeepers met on a very sunny day at Shadiya’s farm near Oxford to celebrate International Bee Day with a picnic and a peek at her Top Bar Hives. We began by discussing winter losses, which were … Continue reading

Posted in Apiary visits, Ecology, Garden plants, Meetings, ONBG, Swarms, TBH | Tagged | Leave a comment

ONBG meeting, 10th March 2018 – overwintering, pests, crime and apps

Our first meeting of the year was at the Marsh Harrier pub in Oxford: 16 people dropped by to chat. Discussion ranged over how our hives had fared over winter; floor debris advice for newbees; problems with badgers; Small Hive … Continue reading

Posted in Meetings, Pesticides, Pests, Swarms | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Another unintended pesticide impact

The Guardian newspaper has recently reported that a common neonicotinoid has a dramatic effect on songbirds at very low doses. This emphasises how our use of agricultural chemicals can have unintended consequences, and the importance of the Precautionary Principle. Birds … Continue reading

Posted in Pesticides | Tagged , | 1 Comment