Category Archives: Swarms

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

Posted in Local lore, Swarms, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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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

Posted in Ecology, Garden plants, Honey bee research, Local lore, Swarms | Leave a comment

“Imkers and Angels” – thoughts 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

Posted in Stings, Swarms | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments