Merry Christmas Mr Woodley!

Mr Woodley wrote on 24 December 1890 in the British Bee Journal on the subject of Christmas Cards.

“I have seen many times on Christmas cards the old-fashioned straw skep or beehive figuring amongst the illustrations, but never in a single instance the modern frame hive, loaded with snow.  On more than one occasion I have wished for a ‘Kodak’ so that I could snap a view of my apiary when the row of hives have been laden with with snow, and have taken friends to see the unique vision of a snow laden apiary.  I am sure the view would inspire lovers of the beautiful in Nature with enthusiasm if they could share in the view.”

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Did They Ever Breed A Long Tongued Honeybee?

At the watering hole.
At the watering hole.

Mr Woodley in his column in the British Bee Journal called ‘Notes By The Way’ comments on the idea of breeding honeybees with long tongues.Read More »

John Walton’s visit to Mr Woodley’s Home Apiary (Worlds End)

1882 Map of Worlds End - the red circle shows Mr Woodley's apiary.
1882 Map of Worlds End – the red circle shows Mr Woodley’s apiary.

Here is an article I stumbled on by accident today.  John Walton paid a visit to Mr Woodley on 24 September 1888, using the train from Leamingston Spa.  This article provides a nice description of Mr Woodley’s home apiary at Worlds End, Beedon.  In addition, the article gives some interesting references to Hampstead Norris Railway Station (the village is today spelt Hampstead Norreys) and as well as the Bothampstead Road to Worlds End.Read More »

The Stanmore Apiary, Droughts and Peasemore AL/499

With this blog I am potentially speaking to two audiences which I will discuss further below. Stories have been put on the internet about a ‘military’ facility underneath Peasemore, known as Peasemore AL/499. As I grew up in the neighbouring village and had connections to Harwell through friends and family, I will give my tuppence worth.

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Mr Woodley on Buzzi-ness: “Don’t put all your eggs into a bee-hive”


This the copy of this found I have found to day (British Bee-keepers Journal Jan 1897).
Mr and Mrs Woodley at their home-apiary at Worlds End, Beedon

The 1896 photograph of Mr and Mrs Woodley in their home-apiary shows about 100 hives in a relatively confined space by today’s standards. Mr Woodley made his living by what he describes as a ‘bee-farmer’. A ‘bee-farmer’ in today’s sense would be a commercial beekeeper that is a beekeeper who makes a living through bee-produce and bee livestock, such as Queen-rearing. But in the 19 century, I believe there was also a subtly nuance between a beekeeper and bee-farmer; a bee-keeper would primarily use movable box hives and more often than not had a respectable status. Conversely, a beekeeper could be synonymous with a lowly farm labourer who kept bees in skeps. I will now let Mr Woodley explain how he made his living as a bee-farmer aka beekeeper.Read More »