Category Archives: Ecology

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

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

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

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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

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