Posts Tagged ‘artificial swarm’

Busy busy bees – new queens on their way

Following on from my apiary visits at the beginning of the month where I had found new queen cells I carried out a textbook artificial swarm, once I had found the elusive and newly slimmed down queen. The queen cups were already built and these had eggs in them rather than larva or pupa so it was quite early in the whole swarming process so I returned last week to carry out another quick check just to make sure that the bees had continued their journey to requeening the colony once the original fertile queen had been removed and re-hived with her flying workers.

Queen cells - June 2013

Queen cells – June 2013

I need not have worried as the bees had done what nature has taught them is required when the colony is queenless and they had the advantage of eggs laid in queen cells as opposed to having to draw out an emergency queen using an egg laid in a normal worker cell – never the best solution and these tend to get superseded very quickly.

Queen cells - June 2013

Queen cells – June 2013

The uncapped queen cell  in the image above has been abandoned and did not contain a larva, however this hive had produced four new queens from the cells that I had spotted in my earlier visit and these are all capped, surprisingly they had also produced some slightly smaller cells which I assume were also queens on an outside frame in the brood box – these were all on new comb so lighter in colour than those above – I have not seen this before and hope that these were not emergency queens due to their being a problem with the other earlier queens in the hive? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this, please comment if you have any ideas?

Queen cells on new comb on an outside frame

Queen cells on new comb on an outside frame

The original queen that I moved onto new foundation in a single brood box had also been busy and after a week or so in her new home she had completely filled the single brood box on the hive almost to the outside frames with eggs so these bees desperately needed new space for colony expansion and storing food so I gave them an extension in the form of a new super on the brood – I am beginning to think that I may need to go with a double brood system next year if my queens keep working so hard – I have not had any problems with the colony expansions this year. I put this down to re-queening last year (naturally), early feed during the spring and the great location of the apiary on the Kent/Sussex borders surrounded by established woodland, agricultural land and urban areas within reach of the foraging bees.

I spent part of the weekend cutting out old comb, cleansing frames before adding new foundation, sterilising supers and brood boxes and generally getting myself ready for the summer flow which is just beginning – I have greater hope for my bees than last year and the weather is supposedly going to return to near average temperatures again by the end of the week, or so we are told. I hope that your girls are doing as well and you are having as much fun!

I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog,  feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions or general feedback, click on the right column to subscribe and receive updates when I next have the time between chasing the bees to write again.

I can also be found at @danieljmarsh on twitter or British Beekeepers page on Facebook.


N.B. clicking on the images opens a higher resolution image in a new window.


June arrives bringing warmer weather but also swarms galore

Apiary - June 2013

At the apiary – June 2013

It’s been a cold and slow start to the beekeeping year, allegedly the coldest in 46 years and one of the 4 coldest since records began in 1910 and all this is on top of the appalling wet year that we had in 2012. Beekeepers all over the UK recorded above normal losses of bees during the extended winter months and although the coverage about pesticide use and bee loss has continued to dominate the  media many of these bees were simply lost to starvation and the cold weather. I sadly also lost a colony as I reported earlier in the year despite there being fresh bee candy in the hive literally millimeters above the bees…

Healthy bees in may as the colony starts to enlarge

Healthy bees at the hive entrance in may as the colony starts to enlarge

So the flowers were late, I fed my bees a light syrup as spring arrived and the colonies expanded really fast this year – it was great to see and as the belated wild blooms broke through the workers were ready to take advantage and I have had great joy watching the air around the apiary alive with pollen laden bees making their return flights back to the hives during the warmer and sunny days.

During my recent inspections I have seen large and healthy colonies, with the ‘brood and a half’ hive formation full of eggs, brood and stores with no room to spare. My first honey supers went on back in May and these are also now full to overflowing, although the honey is not yet capped. This weekend I added a second super to one hive with a smile as this was done a lot later last year so I feel very optimistic  that  the bees are having a better year already… I certainly hope so!

Chalk brood ejected from the hive

Chalk brood ejected from the hive

Hive checks back in May did reveal a higher level of chalk brood than I had previously seen, I wasn’t worried but interested to know why – then whilst reading another great beekeeping blog – ‘Adventuresinbeeland’s Blog by Emily Heath about her beekeeping in Ealing, West London, she happened to mention chalkbrood in her question/answer section of her informative revision notes for the BBKA exams:

Chalkbrood is an extremely common brood disease which is often present at low levels in colonies. It is thought to become a noticeable problem when the colony is weak and when levels of carbon dioxide rise above normal, because the bees are failing to maintain the correct conditions in the hive. It is also linked to stresses such as insufficient nurse bees, pollen shortage and the presence of sac brood.

Chalk brood is caused by a fungus named Ascosphaera apis. This delightful organism begins to germinate when a larva takes in its spores with its food. Inside the gut, the spores start to grow, producing multiple branches of fine cotton-like threads. These break through the gut wall and continue to grow throughout the body of the poor larva, until eventually it becomes “a swollen mass of fluffy white fungus with a small yellow lump where its head used to be“, as Celia Davis puts it in her excellent book ‘The Honey Bee Around & About’ (2007).

The infected larva dries to a hard chalk-like lump called a ‘mummy’, which can be white, grey or black. These will rattle when the comb is shaken. Death occurs after the cells have been sealed, so workers will tear the cappings open to remove the mummies and dispose of them outside the hive. Unfortunately the mummy spores are sticky and will attach to the bees, causing them to infect larvae when they re-enter the hive. Yet another reason to change brood comb regularly – the spores are resistant to heat and have a life of between 3-38 years.

Like chilled brood, beekeepers are most likely to see chalk brood in the spring when colonies are expanding the brood nest rapidly, but do not yet have a large adult bee population. Even if the resulting chilling is not sufficient to kill the larvae, it seems to encourage the growth of the Ascosphaera fungus.

And as the highlighted section indicates maybe my early feeding and rapid colony expansion was out of sync with the availability pollen to feed the brood once the bees had used that stored over winter in the hives. I guess I could have used a pollen substitute as a supplementary feed (there are many recipes online as well as those commercially produced) but as it is the bees effectively removed all the chalkbrood and it does not seem to have affected them or their ability to fill the hive with brood again and it no longer seems to be a problem at all. Interestingly it also only affected one hive in the apiary.

Buckfast queen back in May, plump and laying very well

Buckfast queen back in May, plump and egg-laying very well

So the colonies are healthy, the queens are fruitful and the number of bees in each hive has rapidly expanded, so much so that the hives had become congested by early June so it was a given that they would try to swarm as soon as the weather improved! My black british queen was first to go – I checked the hive and didn’t spot anything (nor the queen) then came back 10 days later and bang – three fully formed capped queen cells and a fourth in the making – I attempted to carry out an artificial swarm but this was hampered by a sudden downfall of rain and despite going through the hive three times I just couldn’t find that elusive queen so had to assume she had already gone, which kind of defeats the object of an artificial swarm so I moved the whole original hive back into its original location and have now left it to its own devices. The first visual swarm recorded at the apiary this year, and collected by my bee buddy Paul, was likely to have been the first of these virgin queens leaving with a cast or secondary swarm.

Queen in a queen clip

Queen (marked white on left) visible in a queen clip during artificial swarm

Last Friday I checked my  second hive and sure enough my second generation buckfast queen had also been busy with three queen cells formed with eggs laid in them, although quite early in the process I decided to carry out another artificial swarm on the hive but again I struggled to find the queen.

On my last inspection this queen was large and plump and easy to spot due to having been marked earlier in the season. Finally I found her, slimmed down as the bees prepare her for swarming and flight, I popped her into a ‘queen clip’ designed to hold the queen due to her greater size but allowing free movement of smaller worker bees, anyway she walked straight out so it definitely wasn’t my imagination that she was slimmed down! Once she was found again, the artificial swarm was a textbook exercise and I left the queen with three frames of brood and food and a few workers on drawn comb as all the returning workers flying that day will join her, along with those that fly from the daughter hive the following day.

Now its a case of sitting back and counting the days until I check the hives to see how the new and old queens are  getting on and also keeping an eye out for the occasional swarm from Paul’s Warre hives.

Hives after artificial swarm - one has all 'non-flying workers', brood and honey, the other the artificial swarm

Hives after artificial swarm – the nearest one has all ‘non-flying workers’, brood and honey, the next nearest to the right houses the artificial swarm

I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog,  feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions or general feedback, click on the right column to subscribe and receive updates when I next have the time between chasing the bees to write again.

I can also be found at @danieljmarsh on twitter or British Beekeepers page on Facebook.


N.B. clicking on the images opens a higher resolution image in a new window.

Bees on veil during an artificial swarm

Bees on my veil during an artificial swarm, people often ask if it bothers me – flying stinging insects all around my face – the answer is NO until they find a way in – always buy a good bee suit!

Murder, swarming and too many queens ….

What a month May turned out to be with plenty of activity in the apiary and the bees have hardly had a chance to leave the hives! It seems to have pretty much rained since the last week in March and as we enter the second week in June the heavens have only teased us with occasional glimmer of sunlight through the clouds and in  southern England we have been given more flood warnings and are set to experience even more rain into this weekend and next week.

The National Bee Unit (NBU), part of FERA, have again issued a warning this week for beekeepers to check their hives and feed the bees thin syrup if in any doubt about the amount of stores in the hives. This is of particular importance if the hive is made up from a split or a swarm this year as there is a very real chance that the bees will starve if they cannot fly.

The Apiary early June 2012

The Apiary early June 2012

All this rain has also hampered the ability to get into the hives and properly assess what is going on, colony splits were made back in early May and new queens introduced to those colonies that required them but having ended April with 5 hives in the apiary we are now up to 11 hives following a serious of both artificial swarms and natural secondary swarms called  casts. Each ‘parent’ hive had at least two or three queen cells left in and as the new virgin queens hatched they will have fled with a small number of workers, if they stay in the hives there is a very real risk of one of their siblings killing them.  In nature these ‘casts’ would have little chance of surviving in the current weather conditions but my bee buddy Paul has been busy collecting all the swarms and re-homing them in his vertical top bar Warre hives (as below, click on the images to enlarge).

Paul's Warre hives

Paul’s Warre ‘vertical top bar’ hives

Cast swarm re-homed in a nucleus hive

Hatched queen cells line the comb, each virgin queen may have led to a swarm taking place.

Hatched queen cells line the comb
(in this case there were 5), each virgin queen
may have led to a secondary swarm taking place.

The inspections that have been carried out are to see if, and how many, queens have hatched from their cells, whether they have successfully mated and are  laying healthy worker brood. For those that have survived they seem to have been unable to get out on their mating flights so are in the hive but not egg laying yet and this will only widen the gap between the workers produced by the previous queens and those who will eventually be laid by the new queens, meaning far smaller colonies than in previous years and I am hoping that the bees produce enough honey to feed themselves over winter (this is preferable to sugar syrup) and I will be lucky if I manage to extract an excess of honey this year, but then that was not the reason for taking up bee keeping in the first place.

My inspections this week saw new virgin queens being marked in two of the hives (the queen is temporarily ‘trapped’ beneath a cage that she is too large to escape from and a coloured dot is put on her back to make it easier to spot her in the hive during subsequent inspections), a third hive has the queen donated to me by Bob Fitzpatrick and although I couldn’t find her the hive if full of eggs and brood so I know that she is mated and in there somewhere working very hard. The other two hives that I checked had no sign of the queen, no eggs or brood but it doesn’t mean that she is not in there so I will return in 10 days or so and re-assess how they are getting on.

The inspections are also to assess the overall health of the colonies, and other than a little ‘chalk brood’ ( fungal infection) in one of the hives they all seem pretty good so far this year.

The bees are still managing to get some foraging in and there is plenty of flowering plants and trees around the apiary and adjoining agricultural and woodland to feed them when they get the chance, including the borage plants planted all over the forest garden.

Honey bee on borage

Honey bees forage on the borage

The apiary at the end of June 2012 with hives everywhere!

As ever I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog, feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions or general feedback, click on the right column to subscribe and receive updates when I next have the time between chasing the bees to write again.

I can also be found at @danieljmarsh on twitter or British Beekeepers page on Facebook.


August arrives with lost queens and egg laying workers – is this the end of my colonies?

It’s always the way that everything seems to come along just when you have really limited time, like carrying out last minute hive checks the week before you go away of a family holiday and finding that there is loads to sort out….

Following the artificial swarm earlier in the season I had left the old hive with the new queen well alone to allow her to hatch, mate and start laying eggs. The new hive (with the old queen) was checked and they seemed exceptionally strong as a colony as the bees had drawn out the comb rapidly filling every inch with brood, honey and pollen, all within a matter of days and ‘getting grumpy’ with the lack of space in an 11 frame brood box within a fortnight (note – getting grumpy means they rush out to meet you when you arrive at the hives and all want to get inside your veil to sting!)

When I came to check on the new queens progress I knew I was a little overdue, a combination of bad weather, commuting for work and a young family leaves me on a tight time bee schedule. I was hoping to open the hive and find a beautiful new queen with at least five frames of brood, good pollen stores and plenty of the golden stuff but unfortunately my visit revealed quite the opposite. No queen was found and I can only assume she never returned from her mating flights but even worse there were eggs in the hive but these were randomly laid (in a pepper pot fashion), the eggs were not perfectly placed at the bottom of each cell and there were multiple eggs per cell.

Eggs laid by workers

Multiple eggs in each cell as laid by workers (4 shown in this cell!)

I knew straight away that this was the sign of a beekeepers nightmare – the egg laying worker! With the lack of a queen in the hive the colony slowly dies as there is no regeneration of the workers. In some cases a number of workers will then develop active ovaries and start egg laying, bought on by the lack of queen pheromone that normally suppresses the ovaries of the workers. The workers have not mated and are not fertile and therefore they can only lay drone (male) eggs.

Erratic egg laying

Erratic egg laying with drone brood from an egg laying worker

Deformed worker brood comb to house drone brood

Deformed worker brood comb now being used to house drone brood

Their bodies are not adapted for egg laying and being smaller than the queen they do not reach the bottom of the cells and they do not have the queens methodical approach of laying eggs in cleaned cells together so that they can be tended, there may also be several egg laying workers in one hive.

Lack of time didn’t allow for me to go home, read a book, speak to a bee master or look up the best way to deal with it on google so I made a decision to unite the queen laying worker colony with the very strong artificially swarmed colony using the paper method, in which the queenless colony is placed over the queen right colony with only a sheet of newspaper between them, with a few small tears in it. This allows the bees to chew their way through and merge the colony with minimal loses due to fighting and the resident queen takes control of the whole colony.

Uniting colonies using the 'paper method'

Uniting colonies using the 'paper method'

Feeling quite pleased with myself I rang my friend Paul who pointed out that this was the one thing that the books recommend not to do and a egg laying worker in a colony is really a lost cause, I checked and he was right – it now looked like I may lose both colonies instead of just the one but it was now to late to change anything – it was done!!!

After returning from my holiday I attended the hives for a routine check, now expecting the worst but was very happy to find that against all the odds the old queen, artificially swarmed into a new hive back in June had seen off her ‘laying worker rivals’ and was heading a very strong colony with a large brood area and good stores. I am happy that this colony when treated will be strong enough to pull through the winter months ahead.

brood boxes united with queenless colony on top

Brood boxes united with queenless colony on top

United colony

two colonies united together

Checking my other hives I discovered that another colony that had been in shutdown conditions whilst the new queen hatched, mated and started laying was also queenless but here there were no laying workers and a new buckfast cross mated queen has been ordered from Paynes bee farm for introduction into the colony this weekend. The hive had swarmed back in early July but the old hive had not been checked in order no to damage the queen cells, but on the recent inspection there were no ‘used’ queen cells found so I can only assume that the queen fled without leaving a new queen behind – possibly due to weather conditions or hive conditions, guess I will never know but again I am hoping that this has been spotted early enough to remedy and save the colony.

A busy week lays ahead with a new queen to be established, final honey extractions from all hives, the application of varroa treatment and starting to feed sugar syrup back to the bees …. lets just hope that the rain clears long enough to get into the hives.

June 2011 – and the swarming season continues

It seems like the last three weeks of June have gone mad, there seems to have been a swarming frenzy with bees deserting their hives everywhere but luckily with with my friend Paul from Forest Garden Foods on board we have been able to collect and retain many of these swarms.

Swarm in a tree

My last blog explained how I carried out an artificial swarm up at one of the apiaries. There  was only the one hive there so once the artificial swarm had been carried out the risk of a real swarm occuring was very minimal, although having left five new queens cells in the hive there is always the risk of a cast (a smaller swarm leaving with the first born, or subsequent, virgin queens) but on the whole I have now left them alone to get on with re-queening, mating and re-building the colonies.

Close up of swarm in a tree

I was at work in London a couple of weeks ago and the phone rang, my wife has literally stumbled into a small swarm on the ground on the local common whilst walking the dog so Paul popped up and mopped it up, then the very next day a large swarm was seen in flight crossing a field in the Teisse Valley and settling about 200m from the out apiary there.

Again Paul bravely donned his bee keeping suit and happily collected the swarm. Two days later and one of my hives, Ogwen, decided to surprise us with a large swarm which settled in a tree near the Spa Valley apiary and Paul duly collected it into a cardboard box and re-hived in one of the the prepared ‘swarm control’ hives.

Swarm collected in a box

This new swarm stayed for a few hours before deciding to head out again, but due to a well placed queen excluder under the brood body the bees left but returned when they realised they were missing their queen, without which the colony has no chance of survival. I have been contacted yesterday and again today being requested to collect swarms but we seem to have run out of luxury bee accommodation in which to re-house the bees with all the hives now occupied. Buying additional hives right now isn’t an option so we are having to pass these on. Swarming of different colonies in the same area often occurs around the same time each year, I assume some of the factors outside of the beekeepers control that then lead to swarming are common across an area, being weather and forage availability.

The last three weeks have seen high pressure and unseasonably hot weather and as the colonies near their peak numbers life in the hives must be very warm and congested. The long dry spring has allowed the bees to work hard and bring in much nectar and the supers are filling very fast. Time to crop some honey …..

June and the swarming season has arrived!

It’s been a while since I have written anything on my bee blog – partly as I have been busy with life and partly as there has not been much to report as each colony inspection has gone smoothly (apart from the occassional sting), the bees have been very active, working hard to bring in a huge amount of pollen and nectar and the colonies have grown fast with strong queens and the hives have stayed healthy.

A check on one colony about three weeks ago revealed far more ‘play cups’ than there were present in either of the other two colonies (the early indicator of a queen cell). This colony was also collected as a swam itself last year so would have had an older queen, previoulsy driven from a hive, and it looks like the colony had decided to eject her once again and start over with a new virgin queen.

Play cell - an early indicator of swarming behaviour

The checks carried out every ten days or so by beekeepers between April and August are partly to spot these signs of swarming and queen replacement and allow enough time to try to carry out some form of preventative action to avoid losing half your bees and therefore half your work force (and the honey that they will make) as well as being a responsible beekeeper and not allowing the hive to randomly throw swarms that then become a nusiance to other people.

I checked to make sure that the old queen was still present in the hive then removed some of the play cells – this would not prevent a swarm but at least buy me back a little bit more time before they were ready to go. At the next visit, carried out 9 days later, I took along a spare hive with frames of wax made up. This would be useful for swarm control if I needed it but if the hive wasn’t quite ready to swarm I could leave it set up at the apiary as a ‘bait hive’ and then if a swarm were to happen and I wasn’t around there is still a fair chance that the scout bees, searching for a new home, would simply come across the empty hive, realise it was dry and safe, about the right size and move the colony in without my assistance.

An audience with the queen

As it was, a quick check on the colony revealed 6 new queen cells, one of which was completed and capped – that is to say the larva stage had already been fed royal jelly and then sealed in to start her transformation into a new queen.

I removed the capped queen cell as I did not know how long it has been capped for and therefore have no idea when the new queen would arrive. This left 5 queens almost ready to be capped in the hive, only one of whom would eventually rule.

Queen Cells on a brood frame

Queen cells on a brood frame












Some beekeepers would now try and split the colony into more than two hives at this stage if they were wanting to expand their apiary rapidly, but time only really allows for me to deal with three colonies at the moment so I decided to split the ‘ready to swarm’ colony into two.

An ‘artificial swarm’ works on some very simple principles of bee behaviour that 50 million years of evolution has taught them, namely that their ‘homes’ do not move (these would normally be in  a hollow tree or similar in nature) and that if the ‘flying’ or ‘foraging’ bees suddenly find themselves in an new home with no honey, brood or worker bees then they have swarmed – even if they didn’t actually leave the hive themselves.

An artificial swarm involves firstly finding the old queen in the hive, a difficult task on a damp day when nearly all 60,000 bees are at home, but luckily I had found and remarked this queen with a white dot on her back during my previous visit and so it wasn’t long before she was found and safely removed in a ‘queen clip’, a device that looks and works like a hair clip but has slots to allow the worker bees to escape but traps the slightly larger queen.

Introducing the old queen to a new hive

Once the old queen is safely held a new, empty hive is set up in exactly the same location that the old hive had been stood with a queen excluder underneath the brood box – this is a sheet of metal or plastic, again with slots large enough to allow the worker bees free passage but to small for the queen to fit through – this prevents the queen from swarming straight away again. Sheets of wax foundation are added and also a frame of honey to prevent the swarmed colony from starving is included in the new house  deal. Bees from the original colony are added to the hive and then the old queen is re-introduced to her split colony before closing up the hive.

The original hive is set up a few feet away from its original location and now left alone for enough time for the new queens to hatch, the first of which will either kill her unborn sisters or flee the hive with a small number of foraging bees and allow the second born queen to reign. Any ‘flying’ bees left in this hive will leave the hive the morning following the split to forage for food but then return to the newly set-up empty hive as it is now in the original location, so after 24 hours or so you have split the old queen and all the flying bees from all the younger workers, brood, eggs and honey and unborn queens and its time to sit back and wait.

Artificially swarmed bees

As this has all occured during the first half of June there is not much forage for the ‘swarmed’ colony and there is a very real risk that they will simply starve in the hive so I have fed them 4kg of sugar as syrup to help them pull through to the start of the summer nectar flow in July and also to stimulate the bees wax glands so that they draw out the new comb rapidly and the old queen can start laying the next generation of workers straight away.

As a beekeeper there is always the temptation to take a ‘peek’ in the hive and see if everything is going to plan or the bees are slowly starving to death but by following the artificial swarm technique you give the ‘swarmed’ bees the best chance of survival and you really have to leave them alone to do their own thing.

Expansion and a happy apiary

Something of interest as a beekeeper is that you hear of other local swarms, and my wife even found one whilst walking the dog on Tunbridge Wells common this week,  it seems that bees really do all have one unique body clock in an area and seem to know exactly when to swarm at the same time, almost as one body. Well worth noting down for next years swarm control!

Without the preventative measure of the artificial swarm it is almost certain that my bees would have gone at the same time and unless you are there to witness it and catch and re-hive the swarm you stand to lose approximately  20,000 bees each time. Luckily on this occassion it looks like I stopped it in time and subsequent visits to the ‘swarmed’ hive to feed syrup have indicated a very full and lively hive (and another sting on the elbow and swollen arm!) and I am really looking forward to seeing how the colony expands during the sumer before the long autumn amd winter period spent in the hive.

A beekeeping library

Whilst it is quiet on the actual bee keeping front over winter it is the perfect time to catch up on some background reading, take onboard new knowledge that can applied to your bee keeping practise throughout the following year and increase your enjoyment and understanding of the actual bees themselves and not just the practice of trying to maximise a honey crop.

Bee library

Bee library

Since I started with the bee keeping about three years ago I seem to have gathered quite a few books on the subject, some bought by me and others given as presents. My first book on the subjest was ‘Bees at the bottom of the garden’ which seemed to be a popular choice for including in the bee keeping starter packs that the equipment suppliers provide. This was great introductory book but soon led onto more slightly  indepth books on the subject.

With the risk of being called ‘nerdy’ I thought I would briefly add a few web reviews the books I have here:

Bees at the bottom of my garden

Beekeeping is a hobby any interested amateur could explore - that is the message of this work which aims to take the mystique out of keeping bees. Alan Campion uses his own experiences to describe in plain terms how to go about setting up a hive, and what to expect from your bees.

Keeping bees and making honey

This is a comprehensive and attractive lifestyle guide to beekeeping - from finding your bees to getting them home, housing them, collecting honey and using their produce.It includes a detailed look at the history of bees and beekeeping, and an extensive introduction to help you to fully understand your bees and keep them happy.Whether you have a tiny balcony or acres of land; live in the middle of a city or in the countryside surrounded by flowers, this book caters for every situation, discussing the different types of hive available for every eventuality.It features a detailed section on gardening for bees, as well as comprehensive advice on how to safely collect your honey and wax, with recipes and ideas on how to use them."Bees" fuses contemporary lifestyle design and an authoritative text, to appeal not only to those who already have bees, but to those who are thinking of having them or even just like the idea of having them - it will 'sell the dream'.


Guide To Bees And Honey

Intended for both new and experienced beekeepers, this invaluable and highly illustrated volume provides answers to virtually every beekeeping question - from avoiding swarms to setting a hive up for winter."Guide to Bees and Honey" also presents expert advice for readers who plan to maintain a few hives for personal, recreational use, as well as those who want to expand an existing colony into a commercial venture.Also included in this volume is a section on the Varroa mite - a particularly nasty parasite that has proved fatal to many British hives. It explains what it does, how it spreads, and effective ways to treat and prevent infestation.

Hive Management

Offers concise, up-to-date information on beekeeping tasks, including how to prevent, capture, and control swarms, when and how to harvest honey, and dealing successfully with queens.

Honey Farming

This is one of the great beekeeping books of all time. Manley draws on his commercial esperience to explain all aspects of beekeeping. This is a book which is a joy to read, you read it, then reread it. As your experience improves you will understand more & more of the value of Manleys words. STRONLY RECOMMENDED

Bees And Honey - From Flower To Jar

Bees make honey; we all know that. But what happens between the bee buzzing around our garden, and the sticky knife in the jar, is a mystery to most of us. Based on careful observation and years of experience, Michael Weiler here reveals the secret life of bees. He looks at all aspects of a bee's life and work and vividly describes their remarkable world. Did you know that it takes approximately 12,000 bee-hours to make one jar of honey? (At GBP5.30 per hour, that would mean one jar should cost around GBP63,600.) This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the intricacies of nature and our world.

Honey - natures golden healer

There is growing evidence to show that honey is hugely beneficial to our health, from its antibacterial properties to helping relieve hay fever to even inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Drawing on her background in the biological sciences, Gloria Havenhand reveals how we can harvest the beehive for anything from reviving tonics to beauty treats. Not only does she demonstrate how honey is essential for healthy living, but tackles other under-appreciated and lesser-known bee products such as propolis, a sticky resin, which can help skin conditions such as psoriasis; pollen used to relieve hay fever and boost the immune system and royal jelly and beeswax uesd in cosmetics to rejuvenate the skin. With increasing numbers of people interested in ditching drugs for natural alternatives to combat health problems from allergies to acne, this book is a timely look at how the beehive can help us look and feel better.

The Honey Bee - Inside Out

This book is designed to present detailed information about the anatomy and physiology of the honey bee in a clear and concise format. Each of the eight chapters covers an aspect of bee biology and all are copiously illustrated. The author has drawn most of the diagrams from her own dissections, giving a realistic, rather than idealistic impression of the parts involved. Also included, are an appendix giving the background to scientific terminology, a wide-ranging glossary including phonetic spellings and suggestions for further reading. This is a book that will inform anybody who is interested in this fascinating insect. It is based on the examination modules set by the British Beekeepers' Association, but this text will prove interesting for anyone wanting to know more about our honey bees.


On top of the books membership to the British Beekeepers Association also includes a monthly magazine called BeeCraft. The local branch of the BBKA also have a book library with some of the rarer books as well as newer titles.