Robber bees

An annoying and frustrating part of honeybee behaviour, is that of ‘robbing’. When hives have many forager-bees and can’t find good sources of nectar, these foragers might go looking for that nectar in other hives. In most of north-western Europe, July and August are the months where it is most common for this behaviour to…

What have I done?! (Beekeeping)

This has been my first year with ‘real grown-up’ beehives. This meant I needed to make new colonies, nucs, artificial swarms, to prevent my bees from swarming. Although I haven’t lost any colonies and I’m now up to six working hives, I really should have put more care into selecting queens. I now have two…

Bee-eggs on the bottom drawer

I should start this by mentioning that the type of beehives that are used in western-Europe, always come with a screened bottom board AND a drawer underneath. I follow a bunch of beepeeking groups and blogs, within and beyond my own region. Watching these, I’ve noticed beekeepers in some warmer climates, or in places with…

Planning the apiary

2018 was my first year in beekeeping. The colonies that survive the winter will give me a honey crop in the spring of 2019. It’s difficult to predict how much honey you’ll get from a hive. In my area, a healthy hive can produce as little as 10kg of honey in a year if the…

Planting for pollinators part 2

In part 1 of planting for pollinators, I focused mainly on plants that thrive in wetlands. Of course, not all valuable plants need a wetland to survive, many are more flexible. In this second part I’ll devote more attention to annuals and plants that grow on other soils.   Probably the two biggest assets to…