This page gives members easy access to trusted information on subjects ranging from common manipulations to honey harvesting, labelling and candle making. This page is evolving with Meridian content and links to good quality information being added regularly.

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The sting

Every new beekeeper quickly becomes familiar with the sting. This page covers the basics and discusses protective equipment. It also has links to tested sources. The sting.

The Meridian beekeeping year

A guide to the the annual cycle of work in the apiary adjusted as far as possible for the South Hampshire area.

Beecraft glossary

An alphabetical list of beekeeping terms with definitions from the excellent Beecraft magazine. Beecraft glossary.

Beekeeping essentials

Collecting and hiving a swarm

Video clips with notes and links showing Lisa and Ritchie collecting and hiving a swarm. Swarms.

Our bees’ favourite forage

This page describing local forage is designed to help you prepare for your basic assessment but can also be used as a guide if you’re planning on planting for pollinators. Our bees’ favourite forage.

Marking your queen

Queen bees live for up to five years and there’s an internationally recognised sequence of colours used to mark them. Here’s a guide on how and why to mark your queen and what colours to use and when. Marking your queen.

Queen cells and how to identify the different types

Swarm cells are not the only kind of queen cell. This page describes the different types, when and why you’re likely to see them, how to identify each type and what to do in each situation. Queen cells

The first inspection of Spring

A The first inspection of Spring is the most important of the year. It’s a chance to check all’s well in the hive and to plan our work for the coming season. Here’s some suggestions of what to look out for. The first Spring inspection.

Reading your bees

We all love bee watching but you don’t always have to look inside the hive to know what’s going on. This page looks at reading your bees both inside and outside the hive. Reading your bees.

Common manipulations

Nuclei and how to use them

Nuclei can be used in many different ways, depending on how they are set up. This page describes the uses nuclei in their multiple guises. The value of nuclei.

Uniting two colonies

If you have a small or weak colony or one in need of a new queen, you can unite two colonies to optimise your bees’ performance or to give them a better chance of survival prior to winter. Uniting colonies.

Dusting bees with icing sugar

Dusting with icing sugar to remove varroa mites is one of the recognised components of integrated pest management. This page describes how and when to administer this important treatment to achieve the greatest effect. Sugar dusting.

Queen rearing, a simple method

Many beekeepers don’t raise their own queens because they think the process is too difficult or fiddly but the simple method described here is available to anyone with a few colonies and some spare equipment. Queen rearing.

.Guidelines for selling a nucleus

If you’re planning to make up a nucleus colony for sale to a new member or another beekeeper, here are the guidelines you should follow. Guidelines for selling a nucleus .


Coming soon

Equipment, frames and boxes

Fixing natural comb into frames

A short film showing how to fix comb removed from feral colonies into frames so that the brood and stores can be hived. Fixing comb into frames

How to build a frame (according to the BBKA)

A video by Richard showing how to build a frame to the British Beekeepers’ Association standard. Essential viewing if you’re looking to take the Basic Assessment. How to build a frame

A guide to the hive

The William Broughton Carr (WBC) hive; perhaps the most quintessentially British honey bee hive

A beginner’s guide to the honey bee hive and an explanation of each part and it’s function. The hive

Fumigating comb for re-use

Re-using comb saves bees time and energy but it’s a good idea to sterilise it first to protect against Nosema, Chalkbrood and wax moth. Here’s the step-by step process for fumigating comb.

Feeders; different types and their uses

There’s a bewildering array of feeders available in different shapes and sizes. This page aims to demystify the subject and explain their various uses. It also covers the different strengths of syrup and when to use them. Feeders and feed.

Disease control

Counting varroa

A short video in which Denise demonstrates a simple method of counting varroa using Beebase’s varroa calculator. Counting varroa.


An overview of this invasive pest and a summary of the treatment options available with links. Varroa

Shook swarm (including BDI’s whole apiary trial

A step-by-step guide to preforming a shook swarm with a very clear short film from Sheffield Beekeepers. This page also explains BDI’s whole apiary shook swarm trial for treating European Foulbrood. Shook swarm


A quick guide to European and American foulbrood with links to good quality, further information. Foulbrood.

Bee Viruses

An excellent 35 minute presentation explaining how to identify the most prevalent bee viruses in the UK including Sacbrood, Black Queen Cell virus, Chronic Bee Paralysis and Deformed Wing virus and what to do if you find them. Kirsty Stainton

Practical treatment for mild Nosema

Using a microscope to identify Nosema

Nosema needs controlling and good hive hygiene is essential. Here are a few simple things you can do to give your bees the best start in spring. Nosema


Honey processing with Louise

A short film on how to uncap and spin out honey with notes and help with choosing an extractor. Honey processing

Preparing honey for sale or show

How to prepare clear, soft set and comb honey. Preparing Honey

Labelling honey

A summary of the regulations with links to more detailed information on the statutory requirements. Labelling honey

Dealing with Granulation on the comb

All too often, when spinning out honey, we’re disappointed to find its granulated on the comb making it impossible to harvest. Rather than leaving those frames in the shed or throwing them away, read this short guide on how to process them. Granulation of honey in the comb.

Preparing soft set honey

Soft set honey

Further to Louise’s video on processing honey, this page offers further information on preparing soft set honey. Soft set honey.

Health benefits of honey

Honey is not only delicious on your toast or porridge, it has significant health benefits too. These are summarised on this page with links to other sources. Health benefits of honey.

Hive products

Wax processing with Louise

Two very useful short films from Louise on how to reclaim, wash and render wax in preparation for making hive products. Wax

Soap making

Coming soon

Candle making with Louise

Louise shows us how to make Moulded and Dipped Candles

Two short videos showing how to select and prepare the wick, setting-up, melting wax and cooling and finishing your candles. Candle making


Re-queening a defensive colony

A short video and notes on how to re-queening a defensive colony

Good books and sources of reliable information

Books, videos and links to other sources of reliable information recommended by members. reading

A short guide on taking bees to the heather

Hampshire Beekeepers’ advisory notes on taking bees to the New Forest heather. Taking bees to the heather

Bee Disease Insurance

Have you ever wondered what’s covered by your bee disease insurance or how the scheme works? Here are some questions and answers to help you understand what’s covered.

The sting

Every new beekeeper quickly becomes familiar with the sting. This page covers the basics and discusses protective equipment. It also has links to trusted sources. The sting.



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