The Barefoot Beekeeper
Barefoot beekeeping is more about the bees than the honey. Phil Chandler, author of The Barefoot Beekeeper, talks about his low-tech, low-cost approach to beekeeping and interviews people whose work and research impacts the world of bees.
info_outline Asian Hornets Threaten Britain 01/30/2020
Asian Hornets Threaten Britain 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.
info_outline On Bovey Heath with Brigit Strawbridge Howard 09/16/2019
On Bovey Heath with Brigit Strawbridge Howard 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
info_outline Beekeeping in Norway - a chat with Ragna Jorgensen of Bybi 06/04/2019
Beekeeping in Norway - a chat with Ragna Jorgensen of Bybi 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 long discussion in the car, while driving around the stunning north western coastline of Norway. This recording was made in the woods outside Oslo, and I made the mistake of leaving my phone switched on (and receiving a swarm call) so please excuse the occasional radio frequency interference that this caused in my audio recorder.
info_outline Bob Hogge from Jersey talks about the invading Asian hornet 04/12/2019
Bob Hogge from Jersey talks about the invading Asian hornet 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 immune from attack by any of our native species. PLEASE LEARN ABOUT THIS DANGEROUS PEST and look out for news about it, preferably by checking the news page on and don't rely on newspapers, which regularly feature pictures of the wrong species. There is an Android app called "Asian Hornet Watch" that makes identification and reporting easy: this is an invasive non-native species that must be reported to If you use FaceBook, look for my page "Defending Britain Against the Asian Hornet" for news and updates.
info_outline Jim Ryan - Beekeeping without too many mistakes 12/27/2018
Jim Ryan - Beekeeping without too many mistakes Jim Ryan is a beekeeper with many years under his belt, who is not afraid to admit to making mistakes. He is current chair of the Galtee Bee Breeders. This talk was recorded at the 2018 BIBBA conference in Chippenham, Wiltshire.
info_outline Bill Summers talks about the ZEST hive 10/27/2018
Bill Summers talks about the ZEST hive The ZEST hive is unusual in that it is made from solid building blocks arranged to form a long, deep container, with multiple, upper entrances. It is easy and relatively inexpensive to build, with the help of Bill's web site - www.thezesthive.com - and his YouTube videos.
info_outline Willie Robson: Heather Honey in the North of England 09/13/2018
Willie Robson: Heather Honey in the North of England 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 Robson family run Chainbridge Honey Farm and you can see their web site at
info_outline Dave Goulson and Brigit Strawbridge 07/03/2017
Dave Goulson and Brigit Strawbridge 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), and A Buzz in the Meadow (2017, Vintage Books. Brigit Strawbridge is a campaigner on behalf of bumblebees and other wild bees and is currently working on her first book. Our conversation includes ways in which beekeepers can help support other pollinators; the impact of pesticides, habitat loss and diseases on wild bees; the dangers of neonicotinoids, and the current state of bee research. Recorded at Brimpts Farm on Dartmoor during the Moor Meadows conference on July 1st 2017.
info_outline Bees, Soil Fertility, Permaculture and Bees 12/19/2016
Bees, Soil Fertility, Permaculture and Bees 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 gathering funds to learn soil microbiology from the perspective of growing any kind of plant without chemicals, and guaranteeing maximum nutrition and yield. If you have a garden, some land, a crop, and wish to see the quality of the biology under your feet, consider taking his offer of soil testing once he finishes his course. As a thank you for believing in him, the cost is much reduced from what is currently available. See the link in the description, pledge your support, and pass it on. Daniel's Permaculture Podcast Daniel's Crowdfunder
info_outline My talk to the BIBBA Conference 2016 11/10/2016
My talk to the BIBBA Conference 2016 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, complete with local black bees, here
info_outline Conversation with Kate Atchley 05/17/2016
Conversation with Kate Atchley 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) and other aspects of beekeeping in Scotland.
info_outline Willie Robson Part 2 02/11/2016
Willie Robson Part 2 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.
info_outline Willie Robson: 53 years among the bees 02/09/2016
Willie Robson: 53 years among the bees 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, which are of necessity based on a relatively low-interference protocol.
info_outline Dr Vandana Shiva and the fight against GM piracy 10/09/2014
Dr Vandana Shiva and the fight against GM piracy 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 all its forms, and owning the entire food chain, worldwide, from seed to mouth. If you think I am exaggerating this claim for dramatic effect, a recent survey by GMWATCH showed that Monsanto already own one quarter of the world seed market, and the top ten corporations - including Bayer, DuPont and Syngenta - between them own over two thirds of the worlds crop seeds.There were other speakers at this event, but for this podcast I will include my own 10-minute talk, followed by Vandana Shiva. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope Vandana inspires you to join the fight against the destruction of life as we know it by these criminal organizations posing as legitimate corporations.
info_outline The Buzz Tour - Interview with Eve Carnall 04/17/2014
The Buzz Tour - Interview with Eve Carnall 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.
info_outline Steve Benbow and the London Honey Company 03/04/2014
Steve Benbow and the London Honey Company 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.
info_outline The Importance Of Being Insulated 02/26/2014
The Importance Of Being Insulated This episode features a short 'catch-up' interview with Brigit Strawbridge; discussion of hive insulation, the eco-floor and the periscope entrance; and a session I call 'live at the hive', recorded at my 'Perone-style' apiary near Buckfastleigh.
info_outline Findhorn: a conversation with 'feral elder' Craig Gibsone 09/21/2013
Findhorn: a conversation with 'feral elder' Craig Gibsone 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.
info_outline Findhorn: a conversation with co-founder Dorothy Maclean 08/27/2013
Findhorn: a conversation with co-founder Dorothy Maclean I recently visited the Findhorn community, near Inverness, to help them build a top bar hive and talk about natural beekeeping.
info_outline Kate Bradbury on wildlife gardening, urban foxes, bumblebees and hedgehogs 07/08/2013
Kate Bradbury on wildlife gardening, urban foxes, bumblebees and hedgehogs 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 -