British Beekeepers Association


British Beekeepers Association

Recent Posts

3rd February 2019 at 5:30pm

Caroline Drewett
Wisborough Green

9 posts - View

This observation occurred back in the autumn, but I have been working long hours and have only now found the time to visit the forum (which appears to have gone very quiet with no new posts, hopefully everyone will be back to ‘discuss’ with the onset of spring).

Whilst out at dusk to feed the neighbourhood hedgehogs I heard a rustling in the undergrowth; and stood silent to await the appearance of a hedgehog.  I was standing approx. 6’ from one of my hives.   A juvenile hog appeared, not much bigger that a tennis ball.  It rummaged around and then passed underneath the hive. The reaction from the bees was immediate, there was a roar from the hive louder than I have heard before, and guard bees started emerging from the entrance.  I prepared myself to ‘leg it’ if the bees showed signs of preparing for attack!

The hedgehog carried on its way, oblivious to the effect it had on the bees.  I stood watching and listening and it was 20 minutes before the colony fell silent and the guard bees went inside.

I would never have guessed a colony would take any notice of a hedgehog passing 6” below it, or that the response would continue long after the event. 

I don't usually consider hedgehogs when deciding where to position a hive, perhaps in future I should.


Eric Beaumont
North-east London

2288 posts - View


I came across your query by chance and couldn't resist answering, even though this forum echoes with dusty silence.

What size of holes did you make? At the most, slits are recommended. Holes are likely to allow bees to meet each other too quickly, with consequent fighting.

I have never used slits or holes, just bung the paper down and let them get on with it. The method has failed ne onluy once, when I did a late-season unite; the bees were more intent on contracting the two nests than exploring each other. After a week I took the paper out and told them to get on with it. They did.

Let us see whether this pigeon reaches you.

3rd October 2018 at 12:04pm


5736 posts - View

Chris, you need to use the new forum


(And I am surprised that it is till running)!

Last edited at 12:04pm on the 3rd October by AdamDarling

23rd September 2018 at 4:11pm

Chris Barlow

388 posts - View

Ive been trying for ages to access this forum. Is it back permenent or not?


On a side note, it's great being able to read old posts

Gary Thomas

1 post - View

Having performed a Pagden when I found swarming signs in my only hive I ended up with the old queen and some frames of brood and stores in a spare brood box.

As the spare brood box was a bit low on bees it was suggested to me that I move some bees from the original hive to the spare brood box. Following some advice I moved bees from a (full) super via a clearer board into a super with just a couple of frames in it. This super I then placed on top of a single sheet of newspaper on the spare brood box that had the old queen in it. I used a plastic queen excluder on top of the paper, and knocked a couple of small holes in the newspaper.

When I checked a couple of days later I found lots of dead bees on top of the newspaper, dead bees stuck in the queen excluder and no holes in the newspaper beyond those I had made. I made a few more holes and left them to it for another day or so. Again more dead bees and almost no paper chewed by the bees. By then I decided that if they hadn't adapted to the queen's pheromones by now they were never going to so removed the newspaper - at which point I saw yet more dead bees in the bottom of the brood box. I guesstimate that I lost at least 50% of the bees I was trying to unite.

Given that this is such a tried and trusted method and that I did it 'by the book' what could have gone wrong??
16th August 2018 at 4:58pm

Diane Drinkwater

12 posts - View

Mark Neal wrote:
Good of the BBKA to let us know the new forum is up and running

It was mentioned in the July Positive Thinking Newsletter and is linked to from the main site now. I've let my link trustee associations know also and it's been mentioned in a couple of Facebook groups too.
We're trying to make everyone aware of it!
I'll add another round of sharing info about it though just to ensure everyone sees the link to the new forum :)

Last edited at 5:01pm on the 16th August by Diane Drinkwater

14th August 2018 at 10:10pm

Mark Neal

3 posts - View

Good of the BBKA to let us know the new forum is up and running
5th August 2018 at 10:09am


5736 posts - View

Please be advised that the new BBKA Forum is up and running at

There are only a few categories shown until you register; there are a lot more once you do and registering is easy.

From a moderator on this forum and now a moderator on the new one, I hope to see you there.



5736 posts - View


There are only a few categories shown until you register. After that  there are 22 categories in the new forum compared to 20 in this one. Once registered, you can click on your name in green, then you are in the User Control Panel. Then click on 'Profile' and you can add your own avatar. (Yes, I am not too keen on the little pre-supplied pictures either).

Once you register and get in, the administrators are keen to hear of any suggestions to improve the forum. Hope to see you there!


92 posts - View

Adam- had a look at the new forum and the style is extreamly dumbed down. By scrapping the different categories, navigation to relevant subjects will become tedious. Another case of scrapping a working system for something not properly thought out. A bit of Red Top versus Broadsheet. At least it isn't on Facebook so I suppose we should join. And get a new silly identity photo. Steve.