New colony in the Thermosolar Hive

I was called out to a swarm (thanks Georgia!) at Arlington Reservoir yesterday evening: handy as I needed a swarm for the vacant Thermosolar hive about 500 yards away as the bee flies – in fact I did think there was a possibility that they could be a swarm from the occupied Thermosolar. The other possibility was that they were from a colony living in … Continue reading New colony in the Thermosolar Hive

Comfrey

Bees on comfrey. There are lots of big stands of this robust perennial growing in many places near me – right outside my front door for one! – and the bumblebees absolutely love it. They often chew a hole in the top of the flower to access the nectaries and I do find that these plants don’t have many viable seed. They are collecting pollen … Continue reading Comfrey

Spring Thermosolar Check

At last: some Spring-like weather! Lots of swarms around so I had planned my day to visit the Thermosolar bees remarkably well. They were looking bonny – here’s a slo-mo: I didn’t do a particularly invasive check as there were people on site and the bees aren’t the friendliest colony, so I checked the board and under the lid. They haven’t started building in the … Continue reading Spring Thermosolar Check

Regenerative Beekeeping: Forage

I guess when most people consider keeping bees for other-than-honey purposes, it’s the connection with pollination and plants that springs to mind. This is a really powerful aspect of regenerative beekeeping, helping us to evaluate what is flowering and where, and when, and whether or not the bees regard it as a favourable source of food, be that pollen or nectar. To recap: honey bees … Continue reading Regenerative Beekeeping: Forage

Regenerative Beekeeping: Hedges

I’ve had a fascination with hedges for many years, and feel profound dismay at the sight and sound of the annual flailfest along the roads and lanes here in Sussex. I still have my “The History of the Countryside” by Oliver Rackham which was a course textbook for my Agriculture and the Environment degree at Wye College back in the 90’s. It’s one of those … Continue reading Regenerative Beekeeping: Hedges

Regenerative Beekeeping: Wax

Wax is produced by bees to create their home. The external walls of the cavity they occupy (be that hive, tree, chimney) will have been assessed for suitability by the scout bees before moving in, and as the combs will form an essential part of the bees’ “body”, it is equally essential that the cavity will contain and secure the combs effectively. They build a … Continue reading Regenerative Beekeeping: Wax