Author Archive: Nick Holmes

Making dummy boards

I have found beekeeping dummy boards to be quite expensive, especially if you use 14×12 boxes like me (approx £7). As a result I have often done without, which has on occasion given me grief of brace comb to the… (READ MORE)


Easy Mead making

Quick recipe – 1 gallon of mead Ingredients 3lb honey juice of 1 lemon (citric acid) 1 cup of black tea (tanin) 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient Yeast (wine yeast, not bread yeast) Water campden tablets (available online or at any… (READ MORE)


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Winter and summer bees

Winter and summer bees differ significantly in how long they live; 4-10 weeks (usually 6) for summer bees and up to 7 months for winter bees *. What I didn’t know is that this is predestined from their time as… (READ MORE)

Learning, Winter

Cold hives, hot swaps, swarm !

It was May 1st; I never seem to get round to writing these things up when they happen. The weather had been very unusual, we’d  had a warm winter, right through to early Feb and then cold and miserable right… (READ MORE)

Inspection, Problems, Swarms

Bees’ supreme obstacle avoidance to make for smarter drones Dense forests crowded with branches and leaves provide quite the obstacle course for fast-moving insects. How they are able to identify gaps to move through seems to defy their small brains and low resolution eyesight. Researchers at Sweden’s Lund… (READ MORE)


Exposure to even low levels of herbicides hinders bees’ ability to forage from common wild flowers – “Our results suggest that current levels of pesticide exposure could be significantly affecting how bees are interacting with wild plants, and impairing the crucial pollination services they provide that support healthy ecosystem function,” he said. In other words, if… (READ MORE)


Study suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen of bees | EurekAlert! Science News Their study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that N. bombi was present in the U.S. as early as 1980, well before several species of wild bumble bees started to go missing across the… (READ MORE)


New research into virus transmissions between honey bees – Interspecific transfers of viruses between the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) and the eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) are rare, even if honey bees are kept in close proximity, new research reveals. Elevated global losses of managed western honey… (READ MORE)


Starvation as babies makes bees stronger as adults | EurekAlert! Science News In two new studies, researchers from Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences have discovered that the stress of short-term nutritional deprivation as larvae (baby bees) actually makes honey bees more resilient to starvation as adults.


Scientists make new discovery about how bees feed, giving rise to new concerns about pesticides (From Herald Scotland)

Penelope Whitehorn, co-author of the study said: “Because neonicotinoids are neurotoxins and bees’ feeding is very complex, involving lots of different neurological mechanisms, I think it will undoubtedly be affected in some way by exposure to these pesticides.” ttp://