William Woodley – An Introduction

William Woodley (1845 - 1923) was a pioneer in 'Modern Beekeeping', a champion at the show-bench, the owner and operator of Britain's largest bee-farm, was presented to Queen Victoria, an owner of the world's first mass-produced car, and a prolific writer. His commentary of the Isle of Wight disease, a disease which wiped-out ninety per cent of the honeybee population in the British Isles, is his most significant contribution to the world of beekeeping. Woodley's story charts the rise and fall of British beekeeping.

This is Mr and Mrs Woodley's apiary at Worlds End, Beedon. This is now the back garden of Garden Cottage, Worlds End, Beedon. The photo was taken in 1891. #WilliamWoodley, #Beedon,

A Skep with a Cap

I and the Vale and Downland Beekeepers Association visited Chris Parks apiary in Watchfield. Chris has done a lot of research into traditional forms of beekeeping. He is best know for making skeps which are straw baskets for keeping bees in.

A Skep with a Cap. In this photo the skep has a cap; this is the mud coloured thing sitting onto of the straw skep. The cap is the area for collecting honey. In modern day beekeeping parlance, it is a super. #BeehiveYourself, #WantageHoney, #Skep, Beehive Yourself, Wantage Honey,
Honeybees found in lapboard shed. In fact, the building was formerly a sauna. Behind the lapboard was a cavity which was 30cm deep and filled with insulation. Virtually impossible to get the bees out. #BeehiveYourself, #WantageHoney, #BeesInShed

Honeybees Living In A Shed (Sauna?)

The homeowner at Charlton Heights, Wantage, found Honeybees in their lapboard shed. In fact, the building was formerly a sauna which was built by the previous occupant who was a jockey. Behind the lapboard (see photo below) was a cavity which was 30cm deep and filled with insulation.

#BeehiveYourself #WantageHoney Honeybees

Activity At The Entrance to the Polystyrene Hive

This is meant to be winter? No one told my honeybees whose home is in a Maisemore Polystyrene Hive – there was so much activity at the hive entrance you might be forgiven for thinking it was springtime. I would expect for a mild winter’s day for there to be some hive activity and for the bees to be taking a hygiene flight. But the scale of activity took me by surprise! Maybe it is early days to make a conclusion – but could this amount of bee activity be due to the superior insulation properties of poly-hives? See for yourself by watching the video in this post… read more