The things people want to know about bees

I’ve been looking back at the web searches people used to find my blog during 2015.

The most popular was ‘honeyflow’, with ‘honey flow’ and ‘’ also in the top 10 (the last demonstrating that some people prefer to enter urls into search engines rather than their address bar). I wrote a post about the Flow hive back in February: Will the honey flow for you?. There were so many variations on Flow hive searches to find my blog that I should thank the inventors for sending all those visitors my way!

At number 6 was ‘braula coeca’, a now rare honey bee pest. I believe this is probably not because a lot of people are looking for information on it but because there’s not a lot of information out there. If you write about a niche subject, there’s more chance people will find your content. I wrote about this funny little jockey in 2013: Honey bee pests, diseases and poisoning revision post: Braula coeca: the ‘bee louse’

Courtesy The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), Crown Copyright

Braulacoeca (top) compared to Varroa (right), Tropilaelaps (centre bottom) and Melittiphis (left). Courtesy The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), Crown Copyright

People are also trying to find out about chilled brood, stone brood and husbandry methods like shook-swarms and the Bailey comb change. I would always recommend going to the National Bee Unit’s Beebase website for expert bee disease and husbandry information you can trust: – especially their free advisory leaflets, training manuals and fact sheets.

Some of my favourites were the more obscure searches:

pile of dead bluebottles in an old building

paw print plum blossom on snow

has any one experience of meeting warm sweet honey – yep, tastes best eaten straight from the hive

how a university research garden should look like

someone who passed the exam has not read the book (wonder how well they did)

a honey bee habit – many of us do have a bee addiction

show me some lovely elsa cakes please

Well ok – cakes made this week by a friend of Elsa’s, she kindly brought them down to the apiary for us – they were so delicious:

Christmas fairy cakes


Unknown search terms: 10,726. Google has been encrypting the vast majority of search terms since 2013 – officially to protect user privacy, though funnily enough subscribers to Google AdWords get to see the terms.  SearchEngineLand covered this in 2013 if you’re interested: Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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19 Responses to The things people want to know about bees

  1. More on bees

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. disperser says:

    I used to check searches thinking I might be able to facilitate people finding my blog . . . I gave up and just enjoyed trying to figure out how strange stuff related to my blog. And yes, now I don’t see them anymore.

    Nice write-up.


  3. Mmm cakes. I came for the module advice and stayed for the cakes!


  4. thelivesofk says:

    Merry Christmas, Emily to you and your family. I hope your bees do well over winter. – Kourosh


  5. Erik says:

    Oh the things people do, or perhaps search. It will be interesting to see the news on the Flow hive come spring when they are supposed to start shipping. I look forward to your future post on the topic.



  6. Eddy Winko says:

    I’m here for the cakes, but I’m not the only one it seems.


  7. Bill says:

    Your post made me curious, so I checked mine. A few that got my attention:
    what to do when my pig drinks motor oil Good question.
    groundhog is mocking me Don’t you hate it when that happens?
    is Haitians related to satan Only by marriage, I think.


  8. beatingthebounds says:

    Oh yes – you’ve reminded me of the delights of bizarre search engine terms. As you say, most of mine come up as ‘Unknown’ these days so I hadn’t checked for a while. Merry Christmas!


  9. The Apiarist says:

    Hi Emily
    The other thing that makes entertaining reading are the filtered spam comments … I’d written about this in my own review of the year’s online activity ( before I saw this post. It’s amazing what some people waste their time with … though perhaps it’s all robot-generated?
    Happy New Year


    • Emily Scott says:

      Happy New Year David. Sometimes those spam comments are amazingly inventive. Occasionally you get some so vague and generic that it’s hard to tell if they are spam or not (for example “I am genuinely delighted to glance at this website post which contains lots of helpful facts”). I’ve learnt to be very suspicious of online flattery!


  10. I like looking at the searches and using them for posts. It does not surprise me you get some interesting searches. Good material here.


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