It seems I have been a bit lax lately, a month since writing my last blog! Oh well.
Since the last entry I have completed all the changes to Guardian Generations required by the publisher. The publishing contract has been signed and the formal process has begun. The next stage is a full edit by one of their editors. If the time scale is the same as with Guardian then Generations should be ready for July/August. I will keep you up to date as the process continues.
Some time ago I wrote a blog asking the question where have all the Honey Bees gone?
Since writing that blog I have purchased a small plot of woodland at the bottom of the garden. So I thought why not do my bit and have a go at keeping bees?
I have to admit It’s a long time since I had anything to do with keeping bees. (My father always kept a few National hives at the bottom of our garden) So I have been doing some research. After all things must have changed a lot over the last thirty years or so (Oh god is it really that long ago?)
Bee keeping methods don’t seem to have changed hardly at all. However the increase in disease, parasites (Verroa) and the effect of pesticides is a serious problem that has all helped cause the decline in the honeybee.
There would seem to be a growing minority of beekeepers that suspect part of the problem is the intensive way bees are kept. The bees are forced to use standard size frames with a wax foundation (in most cases of unknown origin) to guide them in the size and construction of their comb. All of their honey is taken and replaced by sugar water for them to over winter. There are various other reasons why it is thought that the way bees are kept to maximise honey production on a commercial basis is the root course for their decline.
If you are interested and want more information go to www.biobees.com (or google ‘top bar hives’)
I have decided not to use the conventional method of beekeeping but return to the old fashioned more natural way. I have purchase the timber to make what is called a top bar hive. The bees are free to build their own comb at a cell size convenient to them. It has been suggested that the smaller cell size hampers the spread of the Verroa mite. There are various other advantages for the bees using the more natural method however the down side is less honey for us!
We shall see .
I will detail the construction of the hives in my next blog.