Category Archives: Swarms

Two swarms in the same hive: an update

Last summer, I wrote about the arrival of two swarms into the same hive. A wild swarm had settled in the empty top-bar-hive in my garden, and a week later a second swarm moved in. The arrival of this second swarm … 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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“Imkers and Angels” – musings on a 1917 beekeeping documentary

It is winter. I have recently found a silent-film about beekeeping, a documentary entitled Het Leven der Bijen or The Life of Bees. You can watch it here. The film follows a simple and repetitive structure. First a juddering title-card describes … 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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Spreading the Bee Buzz #9 – Local Bees

The latest in our series on beekeeping for a village magazine – written for non-beekeepers, and to suit the broad range of ages and knowledge among the readers. Beekeepers have sometimes imported foreign breeds. Some large-scale bee farmers still do … Continue reading

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Spreading the Bee Buzz #8 – Apis, Bombus, and many more

The latest in our series on beekeeping for a village magazine – written for non-beekeepers, and to suit the broad range of ages and knowledge among the readers. The poor spring seems to have both delayed and reduced the number … Continue reading

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