BLOGGING ABOUT BEES inspired by nature, driven by quality 

Saving Honeybees from a chimney 
15th November, 2016 
Receiving a telephone call from a home owner with bees in their chimney is not an unusual occurrence in my line of work. To get a telephone call from an agitated estate manager with a pressing problem is not usual. 
Honey – A Sweetener Your Liver Can Appreciate 
8th October, 2016 
Honey is usually lumped into the super sweet and not-very-good-for-you category, leaving some of its liver-protective properties underappreciated. Understandably, those with certain health conditions are advised to avoid or limit their honey intake, but this natural liquid is one of the few sweeteners that have the capacity to actually support the liver’s well-being. 
The Asian Hornet - Vespa velutina  
22nd September, 2016 
If wasps have no friends then the Asian Hornet is even less welcome. The Asian Hornet has been making its way through Europe from Bordeaux where it was first found in 2004. A native of Asia, as its name suggests, it is thought to have hitchhiked a ride in a consignment of pottery from China. Since landing it has made its home in Europe and began increasing it range. 
Uses for beeswax 
8th August, 2016 
I meet quite a lot people at country shows. I am continually surprised by the uses folk have for pure beeswax. 
Jo's Poem 
8th August, 2016 
Joanne was moved to write a poem dedicated to Derbyshire bees and I get a mention too! I am most flattered. 
Planet Leicester Bakers 
1st August, 2016 
Founded in 2014 by Michelle Stratford, Planet Leicester Bakers started as a Bread Angel micro-bakery selling bread from the home doorstep. Planet Leicester Bakers looks for opportunities to use and exploit handmade bread baking in creative ways in local communities. The business with a social purpose delivers................... 
Spring Update 
22nd June, 2016 
I have had the pleasure of a number of folks taking up experience days. The fine body of folk in the adjacent picture are the chefs from Opus Restaurant in Birmingham. 
Ploughing The Bee Garden 
14th April, 2016 
The Bee Garden, as I have now named the field, has taken another step in it development. Whilst I was waiting for the weather to a little less inclement and that in turn to allowing the field to dry out, I met with a number of helpful people. I met the neighbours. They where fine with the idea of bees in the next field. I found out that when Mum and daughter walked to school across the fields they often stopped to watch the bees busily coming and going. 
An Ode 
22nd February, 2016 
I went to a networking event today. As is usual one had to say a few words about yourself and/or business. We had been warned that, because of the popularity of the event, we would only get 30 seconds to say our piece. I decide an ode might be the way to make a statement. So an ode is what I wrote. And here it is: 
David McDowell keeping bees for living. 
An ode to his bees in rhyme he is giving........................................... 
A talk for Austrey Gardening Society 
February 12, 2016 
The evening of 12th February was pitch black out in the lanes running from Appleby Magna to Austrey. The stars where just veiled by thin clouds. The headlights on Degsy, my trusty 1981 Land Rover, were lighting the sunken lanes with milky white light. We bumped and tattled past the massive skeleton of the radio tower on the hill above Austrey. We were just about there. It was easy to find the Village is in the village. 
Case Study - Evolution Woodworks 
February 10, 2016 
David The Bee Farmer and Mark met at The Ashby Show. David was struck by the design, execution of the work and choice of timbers. The porch chair is an example. It is a classic design, made in Redwood which has natural weather resisting properties. The chair folds for easy storage and there is a foot stool as a companion piece. The wide arm rests are just the place for your nibbles and a fortifying drink.  
Developing the New Meadow 
January 25, 2016 
A chance meeting with a land owner whilst fettling my bees led to a discussion on converting a piece of unused pasture into the honeybee idyll. The pasture has been under grass and heaven knows what else for a decade. This triangular shape parcel of land is tricky for large machines to cultivate hence it has been "set aside" for the want of a better word. It is roughly a right angled triangle running north/south, about 800ft (250m) long by 250ft (77m) giving approximately 9200 square meters. There is open farmland up a bank to the east, a deep tree lined water course as a boundary on the west. To the north are the back gardens of the houses on the edge of the village and the southern tip ends in a woodland. 
Black Thursday Revisited 
December 9, 2015 
As my regular followers know one day in June 2015 I visited an apiary only to find twenty hives dead and a few others dying. It was the day of my annual health check with my Seasonal Bee Inspector. We bagged up samples of the dead bees and off they went for analysis. Since that day I have had an investigator from the Natural England interview me to understand the story. She told me process would be that the Bee Unit of APHA would analyse the dead bee samples and inform Natural England of their findings. Natural England would then send their investigator to find the source of the toxin. 
Autumn – End or start of the year? 
October 11, 2015 
The autumn is a special time of the year. The long days and balmy nights of summer are thing of the past. Nights are drawing in and the sun is loosing its power as the Earth turns past the Equinox. The summer has yielded its bounty and it is time for harvest. The farmers are busy in the fields ploughing and harrowing the soil ready for the seed drills to plant Oil Seed Rape, Wheat and Barley. For beekeepers its time to prepare for spring too. 
Pollen – 10 health benefits 
January 22, 2015 
Thanks to Foodmatters for there piece on the health benefits of pollen. Foodmatters gives ten benefits of bee pollen as a super food and a neat explanation of what pollen contains. I am working on a process to harvest and present pollen from my hives for sale. 
The Benefits of Raw Honey 
January 17, 2015 
Raw Honey is often referred to as “liquid gold” due to its highly therapeutic antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-aging and anticancer properties. Raw honey is not filtered, strained, or heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit and provides far more benefits than regular honey as it is full of active enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are vital for keeping the body health and for preventing illness and disease. 
Lemon cupcakes with Honey frosting 
January 3, 2015 
This recipe was provided by my good friend Sandra from Poppy’s Cupcakes. Click HERE for Poppy’s Facebook page 
Hive Naming 
January 3, 2015 
When I ran my crowd funding campaign in 2014 one of the rewards was the naming of a hive. 
2104. All done thank you very much 
January 3, 2015 
It has been a extraordinarily busy year but very good for all that. Who knew that I could be involved in an international study of bees, stand markets, be in demand to give talks, run a crowd funding campaign, have a column in a local paper, devised a new website with a shop, be interviewed on the radio, develop a brand and new products – all less than twelve short months? That is not including my other interests and obligations. 
The Bee Farmer at the BBC 
July 11, 2014 
I got a call from Nathan from BBC Radio Leicestershire to see if I would come in and have a chat, on air, with one of the presenters. 
Dead Bees! 
May 31, 2014 
I got the follow email from a concern citizen regarding dead bees. 
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