#BeehiveYourself #WantageHoney

Winter Hive Inspections: fondant, straps, records. Preview of my new apiary

I recently paid a visit to my apiary to carry-out winter checks.  This mostly comprised of putting fondant onto the top the crown board.  In addition, I strapped some of my hives to the stand as a precaution.  Record keeping is still a very important activity and this was done as well.

I visited my new out-apiary and I preview this in my video.

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Swarm of bees? How to get a beekeeper to get rid of your bees

I hope this video will act as a filter.  I get a lot of calls during the summer months for help to ‘get rid of’ bees and many of the requests are impossible, dangerous and non-honeybees.  These requests usually result in a ‘sorry I can’t help’.  At least most times they do.  Often I get my arm twisted to visit the problem bees and it usually results in a monumental waste of my time.  When I get another call for help, I will tell the caller to watch my video first.

Enjoy the video.

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why i quit facebook and why you probably won’t

I have left/quit/deleted my facebook account.  It was not an easy decision yet I am glad I did it.

This video is not about what buttons to press to delete your facebook account but instead I give you my reasons for quitting facebook.

I explain why I think you probably won’t quit facebook and perhaps buying hosting space and creating your own content or even creating your own social platform, might be a more honest and autonomous way to conduct your life on the internet.

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Ashmolean Museum Spellbound Exhibition – Magic Ritual Witchcraft – a review

 

The ‘Spellbound’ exhibition takes its visitors into the inner lives of our ancestors and takes them on a journey through the magical practises driven by fear, love and rage.  This is an excellent exhibition and you should visit it.

 

I came away from this exhibition with sense of unease.  I think it comes down to the fact that the whole notion of magical cannot be properly explained.  Yet magical can be felt, smelt, touched, seen and tasted.  I know it when I feel it; that tingle; that shiver down my spine; that sense of dejavous; my mind is transported elsewhere.

Maybe understanding the origin word from which magical is derived from might help.  Magic is the ‘art and science of causing changes in consciousness in accordance with will’.  Whose ‘will’ and whose ‘consciousness’ perhaps is pertinent to why practitioners or suspected-practioners of this art, were treated with fear and suspicion.

Consciousness has a surface and a depth.  I do wonder if the rituals, artefacts and superstitions of the past were a means of working the depths of the subconscious to manifest change.  But are the mage of the past really that different from today’s psychologists, nlp practitioners, hypnotists, advertisers, politicians, bankers, teachers?   Read More

William Woodley: Early Years At Stanmore (beekeeping documentary)

This video is about the early life of William Woodley.  William’s mother died when he was a child and he was looked after by an elderly aunt who lived at Stanmore.  Stanmore is a hamlet in the parish of Beedon, Berkshire, England.

During the swarming season William (aged seven) would mind his aunt’s bees, which in those days would be kept in straw skeps covered with hackles.  Should one of the hives swarm he would bring notice to the neighbours by tanging pots and pans.  He would help retrieve the swarm.  

As the young William grew up, he was apprenticed to a firm of grocers at Chieveley.  He later took an interest in the clock and watch trade and returned to Beedon.  

This video touches on the folklore surrounding the Stanmore tumulus (barrow): fairies, thunder and ploughs.  I also look at the Enclosure of Stanmore.


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Making Mead: from bee to bottle

Making Mead: From Bee to Bottle

Because I sell honey people would ask me “why don’t I make mead?”  

My response was always I don’t have the equipment to make it.  After hearing this question one too many times I decided to see if people would put their money where their mouth is.  I made an appeal for about ten people to stump up £10 so I could by fermentation equipment.

15 people donated £10 and I bought fermentation equipment.

To find out how I got on, please watch the video.

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Polystyrene Hive – assembling, painting and review Maisemore Brood Box

I thought I would do a video showing how to assemble Maisemore’s flat back polystyrene brood box, see how this poly brood box fits with existing wooden equipment.  I also transfer a colony of honey bees from a polystyrene nucleus hive to my newly assembly poly brood box and poly roof.

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Introducing New Chickens, Pecking Order and Training on Granpas Feeder

In this video we introduce new chickens to our existing flock, we discover the pecking order and train the new chickens on how to use Grandpas Feeder (Treadle Feeder).

We were kindly give four chicken by our neighbours who are moving abroad. We collected them in a box one evening and decide to put them in the coop just before the existing flock went to roost. We discovered the pecking order and we trained the new chickens on how to use Granpas Feeder.

Today, the new and old chickens are now much friendlier to each other but I am sure in the coming months they will be one happy flock.

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Summer Solstice Sunrise – White Horse Hill

This video is commemorates the Summer Solstice Sunrise at White Horse Hill.  White Horse Hill has a carving of a horse, the chalk geography gives the Horse its white appearance.  Some say the horse is not a horse but a cat!  

White Horse Hill is near Uffington, Oxfordshire, England.

Wearing my clogs I journey around White Horse Hill.  Much of the land is owned by the National Trust and the public can wonder around to their hearts content.  There is parking available nearby.

The Summer Solstice Sunrise ritual was performed by a pagan group on Dragon Hill.  Dragon Hill is a mound which is adjacent to White Horse Hill.  

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William Woodley – An Introduction


After several years of doing research on William Woodley and trying various mediums to tell his story, I feel video is the best.

I have made an introductory video on Mr Woodley, and hopefully it justifies to the watcher, why telling Mr Woodley’s story is warranted.   So without further ado, please enjoy my video on WW.

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How To Keep A Smoker Going

As a beekeeper, do you ever get annoyed when your smoker goes out?  It always seems to happen when you need it most.  I have made a video on how to keep your smoker going and this video will give you some great advice on how to keep your smoker going.

As background:- by smoker I mean a beekeeping smoker, (sometimes called a bee smoker) which is used to control honey bees when inspecting a hive.  Many beekeepers experience problems with their smokers going out, and for a beekeeper, keeping their smoker going during a hive inspection is really important.  I describe the principles behind making smoke, my choice of smoker fuel, I show how I modified my smoker to improve its performance, how I light a smoker and talk about keeping the smoker’s air ways clear.

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Bees on Roof

I was called out to collect a swarm which was at the top of a tall conifer tree.  I was able to take some, but not all, of the honeybees and I placed them in a nucleus hive.  I think I was hoping that I might have got the Queen bee.   I took the nucleus hive back home.

To my shock and surprise, the next day I was greeted with a swarm of bees congregating on pieces of beekeeping equipment I had left on my wood bunker.  The swarm had followed me home!  Whilst the notion of bees turning up at the beekeeper’s house and making use of an accidental hive is a kind of serendipity, it does pose the question where should I put them because they couldn’t stay on the wood bunker.  Find out more by watching my latest video.

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