Category Archives: Swarms

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

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ONBG meeting, 21 April 2018: swarms, and learning from mistakes

Lured by chocolate brownies, ten of us gathered at Brian and Faith’s house  in Summertown to prepare for the impending swarm season, view their hives, and meet like minded enthusiasts. Below, are our checklist for swarm catching, descriptions of Brian’s … Continue reading

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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

Storms, swarms and ox-born bees

Oxford: the day after Storm Ophelia. I was walking home through the suburbs, and looking for bees. A beekeeper in Liverpool had reported an October swarm, possibly brought on by the unusual weather, so I was watching for swarm-scouts, or for … Continue reading

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New Arrivals: The Rat Box Bees

There are now colonies in both of my hives. The Brexit Day colony are still strong, their entrance crowded with constant forage-traffic. Beside them are the Rat Box Bees, new arrivals to the garden. Their entrance is less busy – usually one … Continue reading

Posted in Experimentation, Hives, Swarms, TBH, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

ONBG meeting, 13th May 2017 – swarms and exotic hives

Eighteen folk met at Gareth’s apiary in West Oxfordshire, where he experiments with hive variations and populates them with free mated bees descended from the extensive population of local ferals. Gareth is a trustee of the Natural Beekeeping Trust, has … Continue reading

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