The Barefoot Beekeeper
Natural 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.

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.


Direct download: KateAtchley-Scotland.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:11am UTC

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.

I should also mention that I have just published another book, called Balanced Beekeeping II: Managing the Top Bar Hive. It has taken me nearly two years to write and edit and it has 385 pages full of the most useful tips and techniques I know to help you set up, populate and manage a top bar hive. Take a look on my site at under books and you will find both paperback and ebook versions.

Willie Robson has written a fascinating book, full of his accumulated wisdom, called, "Reflections on Beekeeping", published by Northern Bee Books. 

Thanks to Graham White for the use of his photo of Willie with an open hive.



Direct download: Willie_Robson2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:45am UTC

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.

This recording was made in Cornwall on 6th February 2016, where Willie was giving a talk about his beekeeping methods and sharing his 53 years of experience with an audience of black bee enthusiasts.

The sound quality on this recording is not the best, as the edge of a hurricane was causing a fair amount of background noise.

Willie's web site is







Direct download: Willie_Robson1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:49pm UTC

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.






Direct download: DartingtonGMO.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:53pm UTC

Alys Fowler

This is a chat with Alys Fowler with a contribution from Steve Benbow about her venture into beekeeping with a top bar hive, and the book they are writing together.


Direct download: AlysFowler_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm UTC

A half-hour conversation with RSPB Council member Kevin Cox, discussing the dramatic decline in the populations of many birds in the UK, and what we could all do to improve the situation.



Direct download: KevinCox_Birds_and_bees.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01pm UTC

Dawn Chorus

I woke up early, just as the birds were starting to sing, so I opened a window and switched on my recorder. 



Direct download: DawnChorus_with_cows.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31pm UTC

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.

To find out more visit her blog -

Twitter - @buzztour

email -

divestment -

Direct download: Eve_Carnell.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:58pm UTC

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 for training and for events.

Then follows a bit of a rant about AI queens; the evils of packages, and the inflated prices charged by bee breeders.


Direct download: Brinscall_April14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:14pm UTC

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.

This is where to find out more about the book -





Direct download: SteveBenbowMar14.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:03pm UTC

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