Author: beehive

  • A taste of heaven

    A taste of heaven

    One of the joys of beekeeping is food! Having done my beekeeping duties early Saturday to avoid the exceptional blistering weather I brought my mentor back to the orchard with me to admire the set-up. A proud student. The hives are in a small compound facing a very young orchard and a different type of…

  • Battle axe

    Battle axe

    “Your bees love you.” So why is it that I’m suited and booted to the hilt. My bright yellow, triple layered head-to-toe suit, every gap Velcro-ed or zipped shut AND clad in leather gloves and wellies when temperatures are reaching record braking temperatures this summer.  I must be giving off a very good impression to…

  • Act like you’re normal

    Act like you’re normal

    My work colleagues are probably asleep, oblivious, or in the midst of sweet dreams at 5.20am. That’s normal. At 5.20am I jump out bed, there’s no tiredness on me this morning as I put on a tracksuit and have a cup of coffee while I mentally go through the checklist. Bee suit, wellies, hive tool,…

  • Attitude


    The look my bees give me when I open their hive. This particular bee is a fluffy bumblebee cousin of the honey bee but they share that – go away and don’t be bothering me – look.

  • Letting go

    Letting go

    It’s World Bee Day and the bees are celebrating by swarming indiscriminately. I’ve taken swarm control measures splitting hives and knocking queen cells and all I can really do now is hope for the best. In the meantime, I’ve already bagged a number of swarms in my bait boxes e.g., image above. I had put…

  • A winter tale (continued)

    A winter tale (continued)

    “Get out of my way, I must dance!”  My sister butts me out of the way. She butts a load of others out of her way too. Then she starts wriggling, shaking her tail like crazy, runs a few steps along the comb before turning around and dashes back to where she started, turns and…

  • There be dragons

    There be dragons

    It looked like the dragon was poised to attack my beehives. It’s obviously not a dragon nor is it attacking my hives. It is an exceptional example of the kindness and generosity that I’ve encountered on my bee keeping journey.  The farmer who owns the land offered the use of a man and a digger…

  • Paparazzi and bees

    Paparazzi and bees

    The long winter wait was over. Several days of fine sunny weather, temperatures creeping up to 15oC, and essential for a hobby beekeeper, it was a weekend! I couldn’t be happier. Out in the orchard I lit the smoker, put on my bee suit and started laying out all the things I’d need by the…

  • Pining for bees

    Pining for bees

    “Come out and play” I plead. An odd bee flies out to investigate who is tramping around their hive. And, an odd bee flies in.  What’s this on its hind legs? Pollen! Beekeepers can get excited by such small things and pollen is exceptionally small; a grain of daffodil pollen weighs about 50μm.  It is…

  • Christmas present (for bees)

    Christmas present (for bees)

    Yesterday evening I abandon my couch, cosy fire and my Christmas tree sparkling with a million coloured lights, to brave the dark and cold to go Christmas shopping for my bees.  Bees have been so active because of the recent mild weather that the bees are getting through their stores of food fast, too fast.…