Honeybees at the Entrance to the Cavity in the Paulownia Tree.

Bees Inside Trees

A Colony of Honeybees inside a Paulownia Tree, East Hendred, Oxfordshire, England.

A Colony of Honeybees inside a Paulownia Tree, East Hendred, Oxfordshire, England.

 

I was running a stall on Saturday at the WCS Cream Teas.  The host of the event got talking to me about her bees.  At the end of the event she took me to a paulownia tree and in a crevice in the base of the tree a stream of honeybees could be seen. Read More

Varroa Mite Control Part 3: Second Tin of Apiguard

4. Bees busy on the newly made comb. This was a surprise (although it shouldn’t have been) the bees were building comb between the crown board and the top of the frame. This was because of the gap created by the eke.

After two weeks since the first tin of apiguard was placed in the hive, it is time to put in the second tin. Read More

Outlets for Producers: Uffington White Horse Show

honey

VDBKA. 2. Honey from several beekeepers was on sale. Those members who were helping man the stall could sell their honey.

The Beekeeper deserves to earn some pennies for his/her travails.  This blog focuses on one particular outlet for the producer, namely the Uffington White Horse Show which occurs annually.  This year the event took place Sunday/Monday 26/27 August 2012 and was well attended despite the weather.  I helped to man the Vale and Downland Beekeepers Association’s Stall.
Read More

Raised Bed Construction

Cardboard place at the bottom of the raised bed.

Cardboard place at the bottom of the raised bed.

My raised beds have been a work-in-progress since July, mainly because of the delays created by the unseasonal amount of rain Wantage has received this summer.  The blog-post ‘first layer of the raised beds‘ on the ‘Growing a Homestead’ blog prompted me to finish-off the job.  This blog provided the idea of placing a base of cardboard down to suppress the weeds.  A big thank-you to Kelly McMichael for her inspiration.

Read More

Varroa Mite Control Part 2: Applying Bee Medicine

Apiguard

Apiguard

Following-on from my earlier post,  I will now show the reader how to apply Apiguard which is a bee medicine.  Apiguard comes in the form of a can that sits on top of the brood frames.  Because of the height of the can, above 20mm an eke is required to raise the height between the brood box and the crown board.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read More

Varroa Mite Control Part 1: Building an Eke


In England, like most places in the world (except Australia!) colonies of honeybees are infested with the varroa mite.  This causes a lot a harm to the bees because Varroa mites feed off the bodily fluids of adult, pupal and larval honey bees, and may carry viruses that are particularly damaging to the bees (e.g., deformed wings, and IAPV), and accordingly they have been implicated in colony collapse disorder.  The varroa mite cannot be eradicated but it can be controlled.

The medicine I will be using for my hives is called Apiguard and it comes in a can which you place on top of the frames in the brood box.  The bees crawl over the medicine in the can and the mites fall from the bees.  To accommodate the can on top of the brood box frames, a space needs to be created.  The eke, I am going to show you how to build create this space.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read More

Extracting Honey: From Comb to Jar

Uncapping the frames with a uncapping fork.

Apart from my newly collected swarm, I do have another colony of bees.  They are a young colony and because of the wet summer we have experienced in England, only 4 frames on honey were produced.

The blog takes the reader through the journey from the uncapping of the frames to screwing the lid on the jar containing the honey.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read More

Swarm of Bees: Progress Report

Bees cleaning the comb

The collected swarm has been in their hive 2 weeks.  On my first hive inspection (Tuesday) the bees had akwardly built comb in a gap between the wall of the hive and the frame.  This had to be removed because it would impede future hive inspections.  Nonetheless, the bees had made great progress, drawing comb in five of the ten frames.  The queen is laying; there are eggs and larvae in the brood box which is a great sign!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read More

Permaculture Study Visit: Culross Palace Gardens, Culross, Fife

[UPDATE 2 April 2018, there is a cafe near to Culross Palace, please visit my post about the Biscuit Cafe]

I would like to discuss some of the techniques employeed at Culross Palace Gardens.  The Gardens form part of the curtilage of Culross Palace which is a 16 century Palace constructed near to the Forth Estuary.  The garden employs such techniques such as companion planting, raised beds and seashell pathways.

Culross Palace Gardens

The gardens are laid-out in a rectilinear pattern, with the paths being about 1m wide and the raised beds being approximately 10m square.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read More

Swarm of Bees At Foliat Drive

Monday’s warm weather (29/7/2012) encouraged a swarm of bees.  The bees congregated in a conifer bush adjacent to a public footpath.  I noticed the swarm during the early afternoon and decided it would be to everyone’s benefit if I captured it.

Cardboard Box to Capture Bees

I only needed two pieces of equipment: a cardboard box and my smoker.  I placed the cardboard box above the swarm because bees have a propensity to move upwards.  I gently put puffs of smoke below the swarm to encourage them into the box.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read More