Category Archives: Swarms

ONBG meeting, July 2020: a Bee Tea at Dee Cottage

This was the first ONBG gathering this year as our normal annual cycle of events was interrupted by lockdown. Our last meeting was in October last year! Precautions were taken: access to handwash, masks, social distancing, everyone took their own … Continue reading

Posted in Apiary visits, Hives, Meetings, Swarms, TBH, Wax | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Preparing for swarm season

Swarms begin around late April in Oxfordshire, first in the warmer southern part and the heat islands of the towns and cities, then a couple of weeks later in the rural parts. In earlier years we’ve written on this blog … Continue reading

Posted in Swarms | Tagged | Leave a comment

Covid-19: evolution in action

I can’t help wondering if the lockdown will make people reassess high-intervention beekeeping. This lockdown is going to exert heavy selection pressure for colonies that can fend for themselves.

Posted in Ecology, Pests, Swarms | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

ONBG meeting, 15th June 2019 – TBHs, Freedom hives and a surprise swarm

Fifteen of us met in a beautiful cottage hidden near the middle of Oxford. The plan was to have lunch, inspect Top Bar Hives and see a nearby Freedom Hive, and we managed to meet these targets due to skillful … Continue reading

Posted in Inspections, Meetings, ONBG, Swarms, TBH | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Swarm stories

Here’s some things our group has learned, from over 120 swarm collections over several years: what went right…. and what went wrong! First though – what are swarms? – Within each hive is a queen who lays eggs which become … Continue reading

Posted in Swarms | 3 Comments

ONBG meeting, 9th March 2019 – new season, new faces!

Fifteen of us gathered at Mary’s in Oxford to share a meal, view her hives, and discuss bees and particularly preparation for the forthcoming swarm season. Spring has begun early this year and beekeepers are wondering if it is a … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Meetings, ONBG, Swarms, Warré | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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