Honeybees and their relationship with farming
Michael Badger, MBE, has been a beekeeper man and boy, with experience extending over 65 years. In his time, he has been fortunate to meet many of the great keepers of honey bees. He was devoted to the late Colin Weightman, MEE, and Brother Adam, QBE, OSB, of Buckfast Abbey fame, spending many of his formative beekeeping years with them.
Michael was brought up in rural Warwickshire, mentored as a beekeeper by his great uncles and his schoolmaster and colleague, Charles Bell. Throughout his adult life he has kept bees in various locations in the British Isles.
Since the 1960s, Michael has travelled widely to give lectures on all aspects of beekeeping, including the preparation and exhibiting of honey and other hive products. Involved with the National Honey Show since 1972, Michael qualified as a British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) senior honey judge in 1984. He was chief honey steward at the Great Yorkshire Show for 29 years.
Michael was chairman of the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association (YBKA) in 1983 and 2000. He was also chairman and president of the BBKA from 1999 to 2002. He was instrumental in establishing the BBKA headquarters, the National Beekeeping Centre, at Stoneleigh Park in 2000, the Normanby Pavilion of the YBKA and the recently constructed Hives and Honey Pavilion at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. Michael is n honorary member of both the YBKA and the BBKA. He is chairman of Bee Craft Limited, a patron of Bees Abroad, and a court assistant and liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers of London.
Michael is married to Hilary; he has two daughters, a son and two grandchildren. In 2003, he was appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to beekeeping.
By Peter Lewis, Chief Honey Steward, Great Yorkshire Show
Following the Wild Bees is a delightful foray into the pastime of bee hunting, an exhilarating outdoor activity that used to be practiced widely but which few people know about today. Thomas Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, vividly describes the history and science behind this lost pastime and how anyone can do it. Following the Wild Bees is both a unique meditation on the pleasures of the natural world and a guide to the ingenious methods that compose the craft of the bee hunter.
Seeley explains how one finds a patch of flowers humming with honey bees, captures and sumptuously feeds the bees, and then releases and follows them, step-by-step in whatever direction they fly, back to their secret residence in a hollow tree, old building, or abandoned hive. The bee hunter’s reward is a thrilling encounter with nature that challenges mind and body while also giving new insights into the remarkable behavior of honey bees living in the wild.
Drawing on decades of experience as a bee hunter and bee biologist, Seeley weaves informative discussions of the biology of wild honey bees with colorful historical anecdotes, personal insights, and beautiful photos. Whether you’re a bee enthusiast or just curious about the natural world, Following the Wild Bees is the ideal companion for newcomers to bee hunting and a rare treat for armchair naturalists,
It has always been a well-known fact that products from the beehive are good for human health. However, recent scientific research has proved that various substances produced by honeybees, as well as innumerable possible combinations with plant material, possess real medical properties.
Ten years after its first publication, this book has become a work of reference in its field. Translated by Francine Sagar, this new edition tells us more about the Cuban venture, and brings essential clarification to what has, at last, been recognised within the scientific community as a true solution to natural health.
This is a tale, punctuated with short myth-like stories, which describes a honey-hunting episode in darkest Africa at the dawn of civilisation. The prose is magnificent, the stories delightful, a book to take you far, far away from the despoiled world in which we live today.
Winner of the 2005 Ashé Journal Book Award.
“After reading this book I felt I had been initiated into the ancient feminine mystery of sacred sexuality” Tori Amos, singer/songwriter.
Bee shamanism may well be the most ancient and enigmatic branch of shamanism. It exists throughout the world – wherever in fact the honeybee exists. Its medicinal tools – such as honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly – are now in common usage, and even the origins of Chinese acupuncture can be traced back to the ancient practice of applying bee stings to the body’s meridians.
In this authoritative ethnography and spiritual memoir, Simon Buxton, an elder of the Path of Pollen, reveals for the first time the richness of this tradition: its subtle intelligence; its sights, sounds, and smells; and its unique ceremonies, which until now have been known only to initiates. Buxton unknowingly took his first steps on the Path of Pollen at age nine, when a neighbour – an Austrian bee shaman – cured him of a near-fatal bour of encephalitis. This early contact prepared him for his later meeting with an elder of the tradition who took him on as an apprentice. Following an intense initiation that opened him to the mysteries of the hive mind, Buxton learned over the next thirteen years the practices, rituals, and tools of bee shamanism. He experienced the healing and spiritual powers of honey and other bee products, including the “flying ointment” once used by medieval witches, as well as ritual initiations with the female members of the tradition – the Melissae – and the application of magico-sexual “nektars” that promote longevity and ecstacy. ‘The Shamanic Way of the Bee’ is a unique view into the secret wisdom of this age-old tradition.
Simon Buxton is a beekeeper, the British faculty for Dr. Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and the founder / director of The Sacred Trust, a UK-based educational organisation dedicated to the teaching of practical shamanism for the modern world. He lives in England and teaches internationally.
This wonderful book shares techniques on successful microscopy accompanied by illustrations of Norman’s pollen drawings and colour photos of the plant. It was the book of the Show at the 2015 National Honey Show.
This book provides an overview of bee biology, diseases, parasites, (with a large part dedicated to the mite Varroa destructor) pests and veterinary treatment and actions relating to be health. Current topics such as climate change, crop pollination antibiotic resistance and Colony Collapse Disorder are also covered. While aimed at veterinary practitioners, this volume will be beneficial to beekeepers, and animal health and environmental organisations.
This extensively illustrated volume is a guide to the 270 species of bees in Britain. It will certainly establish itself as the key volume in this area of interest. The volume will allow readers to identify all of the bees in Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands. It provides the latest information on ecology, status and distribution and furnishes colour illustrations and photographs that cover an impressive proportion of the species.
For Beekeepers to be able now to rely, for an indefinite number of years to come, upon the regular annual availability, in May and June, of a huge new nectar source, is for them an historic advance. The pattern of working through the beekeeping year is changed by it and a new yearly flow of nectar and honey is in prospect with a yield comparable to that from the heather.