February Visit To My Apiary

Here is my latest short video about my visit to my bees this month.

At The Entrance To The Hive – 28th January 2017

This video was shot yesterday – amazing activity for January!!!


Save The Armoury


Today, if you were to travel along Port Way in Wantage and pass King Alfred’s Academy you would be forgiven for not paying much attention to a modest old building across the road from the school.

Commonly called the Armoury, once this building played an important role in safeguarding life and property in Wantage.  For it was the Fire Engine House and was built around 1878 to house the fire engine. Continue reading

How to Make Kefir

I created a short video on how to make kefir.

Winter Checks In The Apiary

I visited my apiary today, mainly to check the food-stores for each hive and generally to check if all is well. Please see video I made today.

Pssst, Wanna Buy Some Honey?

The cottager beekeeper of the late nineteenth century was giving-up keeping bees. There were many reasons for this including the fact that making a living as an agricultural labour was becoming a precarious occupation and better prospects lay in the towns and cities working in the factories.

In addition to this, the cottager beekeeper was having difficulties selling their honey.  The Berkshire Beekeepers’ Association was trying to arrest the decline the cottage beekeeper, Mr Woodley describes the situation:-

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Mr Woodley’s Swarm-Watcher

Enoch Brind

During January I have been ploughing my way through Mr Woodley’s articles in the British Bee Journal from 1889 – 1897.  Last night I came across an important clue to the identity of Mr Woodley’s watcher.

As a bit of a recap from earlier blogs, Mr Woodley had two apiaries in the Parish of Beedon.  Mr Woodley had one apiary at his home at Worlds End and an out-apiary at Stanmore.  Mr Woodley employed a man to watch his bees at Stanmore.  This is what the watcher had to do:

“All he has to do is to watch for swarms, hive them into straw skeps, mark the hive the swarm issued from, and carry the bees to the home apiary — about two miles — after swarming is over for the day. For this service I pay 10s. or 12s. per week for the job, wet or fine. If weather is dull and cool, the “watcher” does a little gardening or any other job required to fill up his time.”

[NBTW 3 December 1908]

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