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Hives of Horror!

Thirty years on from the discovery of the first "Killer Bees" in Mexico, an article in Scientific American proposes a rehabilitation for that dreaded strain. Now those "Africanised Bees" are said to have thoroughly interbred with local bees and become decent, hard-working members of the community. Worth remembering that nothing stands still in nature.

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Suffolk Springtime

My School House bees are loving the February sunshine on the viburnum!

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Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a leggy, deciduous plant with 5 distinct varieties (3 U.S., 1 Chinese, 1 Japanese). Its hermaphrodite flowers materialise in winter for the delight and delectation of early foraging bees. And although its name summons up visions of cackling pointy-hats waving magic wands, a simple wiki-search unearths the banal linguistic root of "witch". Which is "wiche" (#spellcheck). Witch hazel is hermaphrodite, colour-bright, fragrant, vagrant, winter-flowering, water-divining, medicating, detonating. Pretty impressive for shrubbery !

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Ronsard’s Rose

If you wish to enchant your beloved, heed the bees. Scorn the spray of jet-lagged, clichéd roses. Prefer a pure and ancient love potion. Honey.The distillation of a thousand flowers. Creation's exquisite kiss.

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Parc Monceau

Parc Monceau offers an oasis of sanity in the whip-smart 8e arrondissement of Paris. I took a stroll there yesterday to pay a brief visit to the beehives atop one of the park's phantasmagorical landscape features.

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Of Vampires And Varroa

Like vampires, varroa delight in the coffin-dark environment of the bee-hive. These oval vamps, the colour of dried blood, sink their fangs into the pale, defenceless larval bee. Consider if you will, a dinner-plate-sized succubus bolted with sharp claws to the middle of your back, sucking your life-blood. That is the human equivalent of what varroa-infected bees experience.

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Beekeeping By Numbers

Information, properly gathered and intelligently assimilated, can enhance decision-making-processes. Even in the gentle craft of beekeeping.

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