Category Archives: Research

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. Advertisements

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

More bad news for insects

New German research has found that insect numbers have plunged by 75% over 25 years, in nature reserves. It’s assumed the decline outside the reserves is greater. The Guardian reports on the issue here. Germany is generally considered significantly better … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Pesticides | Tagged | 6 Comments

Bees and beekeeping in Borneo

Recently I met with Made Setiawan, a medical anthropologist and ethnographer who lives in Oxford. He works for the Indonesian Katingan Project on a reforestation operation in Borneo, working in an area where the native forest has been largely razed … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Log hive, Products | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Neonicotinoids implicated again

A major new study of the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides has been published in Science. The Guardian has a good summary of the results here. Because this is the largest field trial so far, it is difficult for the pesticide … Continue reading

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