Apiary Update

We've had a beautiful couple of weeks here in Sussex, and I was wondering how my bees were doing. We have had a distinctly unbeautiful patch of weather during June and I was appalled to see on Twitter that many people's colonies had starved, having been caught short following the removal of a spring crop …

Forest Garden Bees

In 2015 I helped set up a community apiary with Andy Durling in Westham, East Sussex, with sustainable beekeeping at its core. The difficulty with setting up community bee activities is that there is often generous funding to establish the apiary - hives, bees, beesuits, smokers, extractors - but no money to fund the ongoing …

Oil Seed Rape

This is the current view from my back gate: oil seed rape in full flower. I am an artist as well as a beekeeper and part of me is enthralled by the expanse of bright yellow right outside my back door - and fortunately I don't suffer with hay fever! Sadly though, this is a …

Propolis

Propolis is a sticky substance produced by the bees, made primarily from tree resin which they gather all year round, but especially in spring when the sap is more readily available. It also contains wax and pollen, and various aromatic compounds and other plant nutrients which make it a useful hive product for both us …

First hive check

The past few weeks have been warm, sunny and mild here in the UK, and as such, the bees have been out looking for pollen and nectar. I don't normally check my bees until March or even April, but as they have been so active, I wanted to see what was going on and they …

…other than honeybees

I know that beekeepers and domesticated honeybees are often thought to be going against ecological norm by introducing thousands of extra mouths to cater for, artificially feeding them to promote productivity, introducing alien pests and unnatural genes with imported, inseminated queens, and generally encouraging a skewed balance of nature. However, my apiary where the are …