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
I have had a couple of swarm calls and a few bumble/solitary bee queries, but nature seems to be rather on hold at the moment. We’ve had strong winds and more wet, cold weather but the bees are foraging well when they do get the chance: lots of pale yellow pollen and at least the flowers have an abundance of nectar with all the rain. … Continue reading Darling Buds of May
Those of you who have been following my blog for any length of time will know that I am a champion of small-scale, observational, hands-off beekeeping. But as my background is in agriculture and ecology, I am primarily concerned with how honey bees work and impact the wider environment, hence my interest in both keeping my bees and in teaching others through my sustainable beekeeping … Continue reading Sustainable Beefarming
This is a recipe I have adapted from River Cottage Fruit, where I have halved the quantity and substituted dried apricots for the sultanas. I thought apricots would work well with the marmalade, whisky and the apples…and I was right! I made a huge amount of marmalade this year, but I adore it both on sourdough and in baking. I’ve not made this cake before … Continue reading Apple & Marmalade Cake
Parsnip & ginger cake As many of you will know, I am a huge fan of baking and just because my courses are now on Zoom, I still want to have an opportunity to make cakes. So, here is the recipe for the cake I will have on Saturday for my first online Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping course. This is just for my Patrons so … Continue reading Cake Recipe for Zoom Beekeeping
In January last year, I attended a conference on landscape use and sustainability at Sussex University, and I took away a strong, galvanising feeling of implementing necessary change. Then – bam – the pandemic hit which actually obliged me to pursue the avenues I had pledged to consider. I thought about putting my Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping courses online, but I alter these courses according … Continue reading Ways to be Wayward this Christmas
This Christmas is going to be a strange one for many, although less so for me as I usually spend Christmas Day on my own or with my children, and actually I find it blissfully relaxing! My older two have moved away so now it’s just Rosie and me, and this year we have our new pup, Ned. I really enjoy cooking, baking, decorating the … Continue reading Bee Courses for Christmas
Beekeeping is more than just keeping bees, and right now, with the world in a state of flux, I feel it is more important than ever. Not, I hasten to add, because we should all be installing hives, but an understanding of a bee colony allows us to connect with the interactions of nature so much more effectively than anything else. We see bees come … Continue reading What can beekeeping teach us?
I have had quite a few enquiries about resuming my Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping courses, so I am hoping–after the confusion of the last few months–I am able to give something approaching a definitive answer! To make my in-house courses Covid-compliant, I have reviewed the arrangements so that we can still enjoy the relaxed and informative approach while adhering to the recommended social-distancing and safeguarding … Continue reading New Sustainable Beekeeping Course Dates
I have taken the decision to shelve all my face-to-face courses as the uncertainty continues, and the possibility attendees–or me–needing to self-isolate on an ad hoc basis as the lockdown lifts makes trying to plan dates rather a nightmare, and that’s before the social distancing measures that need to be in place. I am very aware that lots of people come to my courses and … Continue reading Vlog!