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Back To School !

I was preparing to take my bees into Orford Primary School. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. That time was last September, when I offered to bring the bees in to show to the children. Now it was mid-March, 5C and in the middle of a solar eclipse, with a clammy, dank light fading perceptibly. And I was decanting Queen Beryl and 5 frames of bees out of Snape Hive and putting them into a glass observation hive to take into the school. Suddenly, it didn’t seem such a good idea, after all.

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Bees And Water

Water is essential for life. Surprising then, that bees don't store water. Despite their advanced social structures and their ability to stockpile and preserve honey, pollen and propolis in their hives, bees cannot store water. They share this inability with the rest of the animal kingdom. Like fire and wind, water is an element over which only we human beings can exert control. More or less. And for better or worse.

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Forget-Me-Nots

So it turns out that Berlin is a city of Forget-me-nots for bees. And for Sarah and I, too. We certainly will not forget our visit to the Kreuzberg rooftops!

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“Bee-Berlin” Conference

The day was dawning brightly over Heathrow. With my bee-goggles on, I was contemplating the planes at Terminal Hive - sorry, Terminal Five - taking off and landing and contrasting their hulking ploddishness with the grace and elegance of bees performing the same activities. Sarah and I were on our way to Berlin for a long weekend. Better yet, I had been invited to attend a “Bee-Berlin” Conference at the Abgeordnetenhaus (Berlin State Parliament) on the Friday afternoon. The best of both worlds.

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Bee Craft : Forage Hangout

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Foraging Beekeeper, Out & About

Thanks to James Dearsley at Bee Craft for hosting this on-line Google+ “Hang-out” on Forage and Natural Beekeeping tonight.

More on my Berlin trip later. It gave me exceptionally intriguing insights into another city’s beekeeping experience. Much more on Forage later, too. I’ve been out and about on that topic and have a real breakthrough. By beekeepers, for beekeepers. Yes, indeed!

But for now, here’s the Hang-Out….

Honey Tasting

To celebrate the arrival of Spring, we held a breakfast honey tasting in Suffolk on Sunday. Amidst a vibrant outbreak of yellow, we decanted 4 of our favourite honeys: one rural summer honey, one borage honey, one Italian acacia honey and, of course, Bermondsey Street Honey. Which one won ?

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Three Feet Or Three Miles

The golden rule of beekeeping is: “Three feet or three miles”. It sounds enigmatic until it is revealed as the shorthand version of an exhortation to the beekeeping faithful that: “Thou shalt not move a bee-hive more than three feet, nay, verily, nor less than three miles. No way. Or else". Here's why...

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Digging For Victory

Real beekeeping starts long before you pull on a bee-suit. Yesterday, for the third weekend in the month of February, I was out and about with a spade in my hand. All in the cause of bees and beekeeping. Digging for beekeeping victory, I call it. And on the one other weekend in February, I was taking the Minutes at the Leiston Beekeeping Association AGM, with pen in my hand. And with not a bee in sight.

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