show episodes
 
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 i ...
 
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show series
 
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. Several nests were found and destroyed in 2019 near the south coast of England, but we cannot be certain that others went unnoticed. T…
 
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 l…
 
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 im…
 
Willie Robson has appeared on my podcast several times already, so if you are a regular listener, you will recognize his Northumbrian accent by now. Comb honey has always been an important feature of Chain Bridge Honey Farm and in this talk, Willie explains why it is important to their profitability and how they go about their production process. h…
 
Willie Robson and his family have been keeping bees in Northumberland since the 1950s. Few people know more than he does about honey farming with the native black bee, and fewer still have successfully kept them for so long in a commercial context. This is one of two talks by Willie that I recorded at the 2018 BIBBA conference in Cirencester. The R…
 
Bryn Simon, President of Sydney Inner West Beekeepers, NSW, Australia, was in the UK and asked if he could visit and ask me some questions. The sound quality is not perfect: there was a fair bit of background noise from road drills and seagulls, and I had the gain turned up a little too high, but if you can overlook that, we had a good chat about b…
 
Dave Goulson is Professor of Biology at Sussex University, founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and has published over 200 scientific articles on the ecology of bees and other insects. His published books include Bumblebees; their behaviour, ecology and conservation (2010, Oxford University Press) and A Sting in the Tale (2013, Jonathan Cape…
 
Caring for bees needs to start with a healthy soil. Modern agriculture uses a lot of chemicals just to grow our food, let alone the processing. That harms the soil, plants, and the pollinators. There is a different way, and we need more people educated to create that healthy environment. Daniel, who is the interviewer in this podcast is currently g…
 
I was invited to the BIBBA Conference on the Isle of Man this year to talk about top bar hives. This is my talk, lightly edited to remove the soundtrack of a video at the end. My talk was introduced by Johnny Kipps, a resident of the island, who took me to see his top bar hives during one of the lunch breaks. You can see the video of his hives, com…
 
I met up with Kate Atchley after a weekend spent teaching a group of beginners at Glenuig, in the Lochaber area on the coast south of the Isle of Skye. Kate started beekeeping in London, later in Edinburgh and latterly on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, just north of Mull. We had an interesting conversation about black bees (Apis mellifera mellifera) a…
 
This is Part 2 of the session with Willie Robson, which has a somewhat better sound quality as the storm had reduced in strength by the time we had finished lunch. Willie spent an hour answering questions from the audience and I think you will find this session very interesting, especially if you keep or are planning to keep black bees. I should al…
 
Willie Robson runs between 1500 and 2000 hives as a family business in Northumberland, the most northerly county in England. This is a challenging environment, with high rainfall and cold winters, often with weeks of snow. He uses only native "black" bees, which have adapted to the climate and - according to Willie - to his management methods, whic…
 
This is possibly the most important podcast I have recorded this year, not so much because of my part in it, but because most of it is a recording of a talk by Dr Vandana Shiva at a conference held at Dartington Hall on October 7th 2014. Vandana is one of the leading lights in the fight against the corporations that are intent on patenting life in …
 
Eve Carnall is about to set off on a four month journey, across the length and breadth of England. In this interview, she talks about her science background, her work at the Environment Agency and the motivations for her journey. To find out more visit her blog - buzztour.org Twitter - @buzztour email - changepollination@gmail.com divestment - http…
 
Recorded about 4am, so please excuse me if I sound a little sleepy... I talk about the weekend course just completed at Brinscall Hall, Lancashire, and the other things happening there this year, including the Friends of the Bees Northern Gathering in August. See www.biobees.com/training.php for training and www.biobees.com/events.php for events. T…
 
Alys Fowler is writing another book, this time with London beekeeper Steve Benbow. It will be full of great gardening tips, focusing on how to plant for pollinators - especially bees.Steve talks about the book and his plans for siting top bar hives at the Tate Gallery. This is where to find out more about the book - http://unbound.co.uk/books/lette…
 
Those of us in the northern hemisphere are missing the sounds of our bees, so here is a recording I made in Spring 2011, followed by a complete recording of The Bee Song, written for this podcast by Lara Conley. You can find more of Lara's music here https://myspace.com/laraconleymusic This is a video I shot of her the first time I met her in Totne…
 
Part 2 of my Findhorn series (there may be a Part 3 as well) is a conversation with long-term Findhorn resident and self-declared 'feral elder', Craig Gibsone. We cover a lot of territory in this interview, including bees, permaculture, war and peace, life and death. And the 250-year flood that may wipe Findhorn off the map...…
 
I recently visited the Findhorn community, near Inverness, to help them build a top bar hive and talk about natural beekeeping. The first voice is that of 92-year-old Dorothy Maclean, the only survivor of the original group of three - the other two being Eileen and Peter Caddy - who started what became the Findhorn community just over 50 years ago.…
 
Kate Bradbury is well known to UK gardeners from her contributions to Gardeners' Question Time and as the former editor of Gardeners' World magazine. Her new book, The Wildlife Gardener, is available from Kyle Books - http://www.kylebooks.com/display.asp?ISB=%229780857831576%22 Kate gave a talk in May 2013 at Sharpham House, near Totnes in South De…
 
Brigit Strawbridge will be remembered by many from the TV series 'It's Not Easy Being Green'. More recently, she has spent much of her time writing and talking about wild bees, especially bumblebees. This year, she is moving back to Cornwall, to the farm that was her family home and the hub of the TV series, with the aim of turning it into an educa…
 
Dr. Vandana Shiva's talk, intruduced by Satish Kumar, was given in front of a capacity audience at Totnes Civic Hall in 12th February 2013. The event was presented by Schumacher College and Transition Town Totnes. Vandana talks about the meaning of 'development' and its effects on its recipients, who so often become its victims: the so-called 1960'…
 
It is the last day of January 2013 and my resolution to do more recordings has again been overtaken by other priorities - but here we are again with another Barefoot Beekeeper podcast. It's been an exciting couple of days, with two of the UK's biggest retailers - B&Q and Wickes - announcing that they would be removing garden products from their she…
 
This podcast was recorded in Denver, Colorado, and features a round table discussion with Tom Theobald and Miles McGaughey of Boulder County and Christy Hemenway, who was visiting from Maine. We focused on the current situation in the USA regarding agriculture in general and beekeeping in particular, looking at what we feel needs to be done to put …
 
PUPA (Preservation & Understanding of Plants and Arthropods) Today's podcast is a conversation with Duncan Allen and Tarryn Castle of PUPA Education, a UK-based social enterprise dedicated to educating people about the natural world, especially the myriad tiny creatures that are collectively responsible for the quality of the soil, upon which all l…
 
Christopher Titmuss, a former Buddhist monk in Thailand and India, teaches Awakening and Insight Meditation (Vipassana) around the world. He is the founder and director of the Dharma Facilitators Programme and Mindfulness Training Course, an online mentor programme.. He gives retreats, leads pilgrimages (yatras) and Dharma gatherings, as well as es…
 
This is the recording of the panel discussion that took place on Sunday 12th August. On the panel were: Penny Crowder, Paul Smith, Phil Chandler, Heidi Herrmann, Johannes Wirz, Thomas Radetzki, David Heaf and John Haverson. This recording suffers from some low-frequency vibration caused by placing the microphone on a tripod directly on top of the t…
 
The 2012 Natural Beekeeping Conference was held at Emerson College, East Sussex over the second weekend in August. This is the first podcast from the conference, featuring the opening keynote address by Phil Chandler. This blog http://beesontoast.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-importance-of-being-drone.html supports the content of the speech with a mor…
 
I recently had the pleasure of teaching a weekend course in Ireland to a lovely group of people. The setting was Carraig Dúlra - an organic small-holding in County Wicklow run by Suzie and Mike Cahn. In this podcast you will hear Mike talking about his bees, along with others who attended the course giving their feedback on the weekend. Then you wi…
 
Back after a too-long absence! I had hoped to be able to produce a recording every month, but somehow life got in the way. Here's the first podcast for this year a talk recorded at Trill Farm, Dorset (south of England, a little left of centre, for those not familiar with our layout!) at the invitation of chef Daphne Lambert, whose restaurant at Pen…
 
I was looking around the Salago shop in Totnes a couple of days ago and discovered that they were selling real bugs - including spiders, scorpions, beetles, butterflies and crabs - embedded in plastic as keyrings and other trinkets.The only marking on the packaging was a web site - http://egcuk.com - which indicates that the bugs are farmed (and po…
 
Termites are not so different to bees in many ways: both are social insects that live in large colonies and have several castes. Both use grooming as a first-line defence against potentially damaging diseases. Bayer sells a pestide called Premise that kills termites, which they market on the strength of its ability to interfere with the termites' g…
 
I came away from the conference with several hours of audio recordings and after many more hours of editing, the result is a sort of impressionistic sound picture, which I hope you find interesting. Some of the background music was provided by Homebrewed - http://www.myspace.com/homebrood_the_band/music - with Dan on the fiddle. There are also exce…
 
David Heaf is well known as the translator - together with his wife, Patricia - of the Abbé Warré's book about 'The People's Hive' into English. He gave the keynote speech at the First UK Natural Beekeeping Conference, which was warmly received and which generated much friendly discussion. David's new book, 'The Bee-Friendly Beekeeper' is available…
 
Italian beekeepers Renato Bologna and Marisa Valente have vowed to 'eat like bees' in protest against the use of neonicotinoids. They say that they now have scientific proof that pesticides are killing their bees, and they want the Italian govenment to take action to ban neonicotinoids on all crops. At present, their use is only banned on maize. I …
 
Lara Conley has written a song that I think you will enjoy - and you can hear it for the first time here on the Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast. Lara has a web site on MySpace - - see www.myspace.com/laraconleymusic - and I hope you will listen to and buy some of her music. I think you will agree that with a song-writing talent and a voice like hers, sh…
 
This podcast is based on a recording I made at Welcombe, North Devon earlier in July 2011 with a group of people on an 'Intermediate' level natural beekeeping course. We discussed the various ways to set up a top bar hive, including different entrance arrangements, top bar widths and the options for swarm management.…
 
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