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Posts tagged ‘brood’

In the Apiary : Mid-May : An Inspector Calls…

At 5.31pm precisely the doorbell rang. It was the Seasonal Bee Inspector for the South London, Brian McCallum. This was my first visit from an inspector. Or, as I like to look at it, the first time I have been offered a free beekeeping lesson from Her Majesty's Government.

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BBC R4 “Saturday Live” Interview

Last Saturday, BBC Radio 4 joined me on my rooftop to meet the Bermondsey Street Bees. In case you missed it, this blog post has a link to the show. Open it and advance to 44 minutes and 20 seconds into the programme. That's the start of my slot. It was all great fun. I like radio. I'm told I have the perfect face for it.

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How Long Do Bees Live ?

It all depends. A typical beekeeperly answer. But everything really does depend on which month a bee is born in. A summer bee will have a short life-span, sometimes just six sun-kissed weeks. A winter bee, on the other hand, can live for six whole months ! Why the big difference ?

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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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Rummage Party

A "rummage party" is a naval term for a speculative search of a boat, in search of smuggled or contraband goods. I love the expression. And I have adopted it as my name for the very first inspection of each hive in 2015

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Changeling Varroa

New research into the varroa mite has revealed the fiendish cunning of these deadly bee parasites - they employ chemical camouflage to move, undetected, from the bee, on which they feed, into the brood cells, where they reproduce.

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Do Bees Hibernate ?

As winter takes hold, bees form their cluster: a gently dynamic, oval mass in the middle of the brood box. A cluster is quite hard to visualise, though, so It really made my day when I realised that a swarm of bees is just a naked cluster !

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The Poly Hive

With the bees flying from my experimental polystyrene hive with the thermometer at just 4C (note that 10C is generally viewed as the lowest safe temperature for bees to fly), the Optimist and the Pessimist have different interpretations.

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Christmas Day Varroa Treat(-ment)

It's Christmas Day and this video shows the Bermondsey Street Bees in Abbey Hive receiving a health-giving anti-varroa treat(-ment).

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