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 »


Mr Woodley’s Hilltop Cottage apiary, Stanmore, Beedon.


“In addition to the home-apiary, with its over a hundred hives, shown in the illustration, Mr. Woodley has an out-apiary of fifty to sixty hives at Stanmore, a little over two miles from his house at Beedon.  This entails considerable labour during the Summer months, and the only help he gets in all the actual work at both apiaries is that of Mrs. Woodley, who may be taken an ideal bee-man’s wife.  To use her husband’s own worth, “she has proved a true helpmeet in everything pertaining to the work in the apiary, either in hiving and packing swarms, folding and preparing sections for putting on the hives, cleaning and glazing sections after removal from the hives, for show or market, and thus handling in some way nearly all the output for the past fifteen years from both apiaries.  The only help we have being that of an old man to watch for and hive swarms into straw skeps of the out-apiary during the swarming season.” – The British Bee Journal of  January 1909

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How to turn a raised bed into a hoop tunnel

This blog follows-on from my earlier one about Raised Bed Construction.  I show the reader how I constructed a hoop-tunnel for the raised beds.  It is my intention to plant winter vegetables in these beds.  I shall cover the hoops with a horticultural fleece when the weather becomes colder, hopefully this will promote plant growth over the winter.

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Outlets for Producers: Uffington White Horse Show

VDBKA. 2. Honey from several beekeepers was on sale. Those members who were helping man the stall could sell their honey.

The Beekeeper deserves to earn some pennies for his/her travails.  This blog focuses on one particular outlet for the producer, namely the Uffington White Horse Show which occurs annually.  This year the event took place Sunday/Monday 26/27 August 2012 and was well attended despite the weather.  I helped to man the Vale and Downland Beekeepers Association’s Stall.
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Raised Bed Construction

Cardboard place at the bottom of the raised bed.
Cardboard place at the bottom of the raised bed.

My raised beds have been a work-in-progress since July, mainly because of the delays created by the unseasonal amount of rain Wantage has received this summer.  The blog-post ‘first layer of the raised beds‘ on the ‘Growing a Homestead’ blog prompted me to finish-off the job.  This blog provided the idea of placing a base of cardboard down to suppress the weeds.  A big thank-you to Kelly McMichael for her inspiration.

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