Category Archives: Colony management

When will you be finished?

“When will you be finished?… The kids are getting hungry”… Drew’s voice reached me as I stood surrounded by bees, gingerly trying to put boxes back together as bees poured out from every direction. It hasn’t been easy to keep up … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management | 15 Comments

Maximising your honey crop – tips from Tony Harris

At the weekend I heard Tony Harris, a Scottish bee farmer, give two talks at the annual Cornwall Beekeepers Association/West Cornwall Beekeepers Association ‘Bit of a Do’ conference. Here are my notes from his talk, which had plenty of jokes … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management, Events, Honey, Swarms | 19 Comments

Tidying up my beekeeping bumbles

In my post a couple of weeks ago, ‘What the bees have been up to‘, I mentioned leaving Hope’s nucleus hive with some fondant and pollen in the eke, with the expectation that they would build a little comb up … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management | 30 Comments

Spring cleaning at the apiary

In the past few weeks Ealing beekeepers have been busy improving the association apiary and preparing the bees for spring. Tom has been running easy-going monthly volunteering sessions fuelled by plenty of tea; jobs done so far have included pruning, … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management, Disease prevention | 36 Comments

Getting my bee-jo back

I didn’t post about the bees last weekend because I felt especially down about my beekeeping skills after an intense catalogue of failures on Saturday. First, I failed to find Queen Stella in my allotment bees, which would have been particularly useful … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management, Swarms | Tagged | 32 Comments

Building comb and a home

Last weekend was warm, so Emma and I did a shook-swarm on our two strongest hives, Myrtle and Chilli. We worked as a team, Emma shaking the bees into a fresh brood box with new foundation, then passing me the … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management, Disease prevention, Uncategorized | Tagged | 16 Comments

Notes from a talk by David Rudland, ‘Bringing bees from winter into spring’

On Wednesday evening I went to a London Beekeepers Association (LBKA) talk by David Rudland on the topic of ‘Bringing bees from winter into spring’. David and his wife Celia (who came to the meeting too) are commercial beekeepers in Surrey … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management, Disease prevention | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Middlesex Beekeepers’ Day – Terry Clare, Queen rearing for the average beekeeper

As I like to do each year, yesterday I went to the Federation of Middlesex Beekeepers’ Associations annual Bee Keepers’ Day. Each year the Middlesex associations (Ealing, Enfield, Harrow, North London, Pinner & Ruislip) take it in turn to host … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management, Disease prevention, Queens | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

What’s flowering now: early July

A walk on a summer’s evening. Honey bee on hogweed. They appear to get very little pollen from these flowers, but instead swish their proboscis enthusiastically about in the nectar like a watercolour artist swirling their brush. I recommend Theresa … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management | 19 Comments

Hungry New Zealanders hunt for food

Today I had a little crowd of watchers round me as I opened up our hive, including a newbee and a professional photographer named Megan who is documenting Ealing’s ‘sub-cultures’. She is hoping to visit some Ealing monks next! I … Continue reading

Posted in Colony management | Tagged | 28 Comments