Broodless?

Synopsis : The colony needs to be broodless for effective oxalic acid treatment in winter. You might be surprised at how early in the winter this broodless period can be (if there is one). How can you easily determine whether the colony is broodless? Introduction In late spring or early summer a broodless colony is […]

Winter projects

Synopsis : Now is the time to make plans for the long winter ahead; frame building, winter projects, some light reading or an escape to somewhere warmer and with better wine? Introduction The good late summer September weather  has been replaced with the first of the equinoctial gales. Actually, more of a 30-40 mph stiff breeze […]

Mellow fruitfulness

Synopsis : Final colony inspections and some thoughts on Apivar-contaminated supers, clearing dried supers, feeding fondant and John Keats’ beekeeping. Introduction The title of today’s post comes from the first line of the poem ’To Autumn’ by John Keats: Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness The poem was written just over 200 years ago and […]

Making a beeline

Synopsis : Honey bees use a range of navigation skills including path integration – to shorten return flights – combined with map-like spatial memories to relocate the hive. Introduction Regular readers will be aware that I’m interested in the origins of words. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a fantastic source of information and produces […]

Tim Toady

Synopsis : The large number of beekeeping methods is both a benefit and – for beginners particularly – a distraction. Learn methods well enough to be confident when you apply them. Understand why they work and their pros and cons. Introduction In an earlier life as a junior academic I was generously given a crushingly […]