Category Archives: Honey bee research

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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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