Monday, 16 November 2009

All quiet

I took advantage of a slight break in the weather (14 degrees C, and sunny) to go on site and check the hives. What greated me should be no surprise I suppose, but I was sad not to be able to see more. No bees were out flying at all. I did see a few wasps snuffling around, but even they seemed to have largely lost interest. Since the holes in my crown-boards are covered with mesh, I took the liberty of removing the hive roofs and peering though the mesh. In both hives, numerous bees were slowly milling around in a very torporous state. I quickly shut them up and left, being left with the realisation that it's a long time till March.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

BBKA forum

Well, I posted my question on hive naming to the BBKA (British Beekeeping Association) forums and got 16 replies in a flash. It's my first time posting on the forums, and I may spend some time on them in future since they are quite active and interesting, in parts.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Bee Maths

I just found a pretty decent webpage of "bee maths". It's concise and relevant, and I like it enough as a reference page that I'll post it on my blog links.

Wow! Actually I then went from this bee maths link to look at the website it's a part of, Bush Farm Bees. It's a really interesting read. Some of the ideas there seem somewhat non-establishment, but the way the vibe in beekeeping seems to be going is more towards this type of thing, and the site's well written and the points made seem well researched by sound experience.

More hive naming

Well, I'm still not decided on what to name my hives, but it's got to be done since "hive1" and "hive2" just won't do. Thanks for the comments. Lynn uses names of people in her family, particularly grandparents and grandchildren at present. That idea has some appeal to me, but I'm not sure I'll be using this: I've got 4 small children of my own, and I'm bad enough calling them by the wrong names when they're michief-making, let alone duplicting the names on my hives. Mark says that using a naming convention such as US presidents would not be quite interesting enough, and I tend to agree. I'd like to get my names somehow relevant to my beekeeping if possible (hence why I like the Queens idea). Somewhat relevant ideas I thought of so far are: naming them after crops which bees polinate (eg Apple, Pear, and so on); names of other nature reserves in my area of London since that's where my hives are right now (Adelaide, Westbere, Waterlow, Mortimer, and so on); or perhaps streets in the area; or perhaps...errrr I don't know, but my thinking cap is still on. Having said all that, there are some non-beekeeping-relevant naming conventions which appeal, even off the top of my head: greek and roman gods, rock or pop bands, trees, and so on.

Another feature of a naming convention which I like is to alphabetise (ok, alphabetize for American readers) names in the same way they do for hurricanes which travel from the Carribean Gulf to the Southern US: in other words each successive one is given a name which starts with a successive letter of the alphabet. I think they futher constrain their hurricane naming convention by alternating boys and girls (do they then do girls then boys the subsequent year? I don't know). Anyway, applying this to, say, the bee forage crop idea I might end up with: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, and so on.

Hhhmmm, I think I may try posting this on the BBKA forums too now and see what comes back. Will update this blog with any fresh thoughts, and suggestions are still most welcome!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Naming the hives

An extremely important winter beekeeping task I've set myself is to come up for better tags from my hives than "hive1" and "hive2". I'd like something interesting and original, but also something with at least a tiny bit of relevance and rationale. For example, the beekeeper I met recently at RHS Wisley calls each of his hives after a different English queen (Victoria, Elizabeth, Boudicea, and so on).

I'm interested in any suggestions I can lay my hands on. Thinking caps on, please!