Phil Chandler, teacher and author of 'The Barefoot Beekeeper', talks about 'balanced beekeeping' and explains why he believes we need to change both the way we grow our food and the way we work with honeybees if we want them - and ourselves - to survive and thrive.
Beekeeping has been all about honey production. Now we need to learn to value bees for their own sake - for their part in nature as pollinators of many plant species, both wild and cultivated.
The Barefoot Beekeeper is available in print or as an ebook from www.biobees.com
Asian Hornets Threaten Britain's Bees
The Asian Yellow-Legged Hornet - Vespa velutina - has rampaged through France and for the last three years has occupied Jersey in the Channel Islands, threatening to invade mainland Britain using any means possible.
On Bovey Heath with Brigit Strawbridge Howard
We were on the Bovey Heathfield Nature Reserve, near Bovey Tracey in Devon, looking for Heath Potter Wasps with the noted naturalist John Walters, so I took the opportunity to record a short interview...
Brigit's new book, Dancing with Bees, is published by Chelsea Green and available from http://beestrawbridge.blogspot.com
Ragna invited me to Norway to talk to beekeepers about the possibility of using different ways to look after bees, and different hives, including, of course, the top bar hive.
I had a very enjoyable week in this beautiful country, thanks to my hosts Ragna Jorgensen and Joshua, who will feature in the next podcast, once I have finished editing our long discussion in the car, while driving around the stunning north western coastline of Norway.
This recording was made in the woods outside Oslo, and I made the mistake of leaving my phone switched on (and receiving a swarm call) so please excuse the occasional radio frequency interference that this caused in my audio recorder.
The Asian Yellow-Legged Hornet, Vespa velutina, is a serious threat to bees and beekeeping in Britain, given its predatory nature and the fact that a large nest may contain 10-12,000 hungry insects.
It also poses a secondary threat to birds and bats, as it has the ability to consume massive numbers of their prey, while themselves being virtually immune from attack by any of our native species.
PLEASE LEARN ABOUT THIS DANGEROUS PEST and look out for news about it, preferably by checking the news page on https://friendsofthebees.org and don't rely on newspapers, which regularly feature pictures of the wrong species.
There is an Android app called "Asian Hornet Watch" that makes identification and reporting easy: this is an invasive non-native species that must be reported to http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet
If you use FaceBook, look for my page "Defending Britain Against the Asian Hornet" for news and updates.
I hosted this discussion with about 25 other beekeepers at the Eden Project in Cornwall as part of the BIBBA SW Conference Febriary 16 2019.
A talk from the 2018 BIBBA conference