When preparing a cake of beeswax for the show bench the general criteria are cleanliness and care but the show schedule should be consulted regarding other particulars especially the desired weight and dimensions. Assuming these can be satisfied then the beekeeper should proceed as follows.
A good supply of pollen is essential to a honeybee colony because…
… despite its complexity, bees cannot live on honey alone. While the sugars in honey supply their energy needs, in addition they require protein, minerals and trace elements. Pollen is the source of these but like all things dietary – bees need variety as well as quantity.
Even if you are a bee-god and you think your swarm control technique is perfection personified – always set up a catcher hive because you might be wrong!
It’s also a good idea because when your catchers start to attract attention you can be sure some bees somewhere are having bad thoughts. Sprinke the scouts with a little flour and watch which hive they return to. Continue reading How to set up a catcher hive→
Honey bees have been studied for centuries and most of their behaviour is well understood – all the way down to the chemistry of their pheromones and the order of molecules in their DNA. However, one aspect of bee behaviour that remains mysterious is the Drone Congregation Area or DCA. Continue reading How to Find Drone Congregation Areas→
Mating nucs, or ‘mini nucs’ are a great way of getting a new queen laying using the minimum of resources. Should she fail, little is lost but if she does get laying – a spare queen is a great thing to have!
Apideas are far and away the best mating nuc on the market – they cost a little more but are worth every penny for the elegance of the design and the quality of the product.
Mead is a honey-based alcoholic beverage with a very long and colourful history. The Vikings were big into mead, as were the Druids, the Celts, the Saxons and, earlier still, the Neolithic/Iron age Beaker people. The Vikings drank it out of bull horns as did the Druids, Celts and Saxons. While the Beaker people drank it out of… well… beakers. Continue reading How to make mead from beeswax cappings→
Beeswax Wraps can be a lovely Christmas gift. Making them shouldn’t be difficult but if you’ve ever tried it you’ll know that it can he tedious, painful and messy. But here is a nice, simple mess-free method you can use to produce some last minute beeswax Christmas presents in less than an hour. Continue reading Beeswax Wraps made Simple→
We all tend to have a knee-jerk reaction when we see a field of ragwort. Most of us regard it as a squalid poisonous weed which spreads like wildfire and until recently it would be difficult to find anyone with a good word for it. But why is that and where does it come from? Continue reading We need to talk about ragwort→