Unsustainable Beekeeping

I started my beekeeping journey back in 2009, when following a particularly interesting module of my Natural Sciences degree with the Open University, I learnt about superorganisms and eusociality, aka colonial insects. I realised that it was possible to keep one’s very own social insects – honey bees! – but I quickly became confused and disillusioned by the instructions I was given for looking after … Continue reading Unsustainable Beekeeping

Thermosolar High Summer Update

The bees have been rather challenged by the weather this year and my hives have seemingly plateaued after a slow start. Dealing with hot, cold, wind and wet needs resilient bees, and I was interested to see how the Thermosolar bees did this year. The site looks great. I love this sort of unmanaged management and it shows what happens when you actually just leave … Continue reading Thermosolar High Summer Update

Meadow flowers and the Thermosolar hives

It was a rather murky day for my visit to the Thermosolar bees, but the meadow areas were brimming with bees and butterflies. Marbled White, Meadow Brown, a couple of Small Skippers were flitting above the flowers and grasses, joined by a variety of bees and flies. There were also numerous banded snails which looked extremely pretty against the daisies. I walked through the thigh-high … Continue reading Meadow flowers and the Thermosolar hives

Drakes

In a previous post, I wrote how I was feeling chuffed that I had managed to pick two females from a batch of unsexed ducklings. Hmm. I was using the beak colour identification which is apparently pretty failsafe…for ducklings under 3 days old. The yellow/pink beaks of the females and dark grey beaks of the males swap over after a while, so pale beaks in … Continue reading Drakes