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Beehive Yourself Podcast

Steven Herbert

The Beehive Yourself Podcast: a quiet place for you to escape; a soundscape of calm; a timeless world beyond the now. Consider coming on a journey with the Beehive Yourself Podcast. Sometimes I will take you by the hand into the realm of bees. Other times, we can revisit the olden days on the Berkshire Downs. Yet most times, I am likely to poke fun at the craziness that dwells amongst us.


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Ridgeway Bees

Beehive Yourself Podcast


04/09/23 • 10 min

The reason for doing this small body of research is my hope that I will change your perspective. Naturally, when we traverse the Ridgeway we enjoy the landscape, with its large skies and breathtaking views. However, if we look closely at the overgrown no man’s land hugging each side of the Ridgeway path, we might just discover the busy lives of bees and the beautiful flowers they forage upon. This theatre of the tiny is just as awe inspiring as the grand vistas we see on the horizon.

This podcast reviews the bees I encountered along the Ridgeway during the summer of 2022. I visited the following sections of the Ridgeway: Middlehill Down which is south of Wantage; Bury Down near West Ilsley; White Horse Hill south of Uffington.

I walked along these parts of the Ridgeway, with a camera and tripod, and recorded the bees I encountered. At home, I cross-referenced the footage with a guidebook: ‘Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland’.

First Attempt To Find Ridgeway Bees – Middlehill Down, near Wantage.

The Ridgeway at Middlehill Down intersects the B4494 road on a right-angled bend. Here I can recount numerous times seeing a prostrate cyclist with his crumpled bike or glimpsing the chassis of an upturned car in a field further up the hill. Parking is provided either side of the highway and this would be my starting point. Look left and right, and left again when crossing; this is the road where crazy people drive.

It was the fifth of June, having rained earlier in the afternoon the verges along the path were green and lush. The previous precipitation had probably suppressed the activity of Ridgeway insects, yet I heard the reassuring hum of humble-bees. With bumblebees congregating on the flowering thistles, I waded clumsily through nettles and brambles. I later identified them as large garden bumblebees (bombus ruderatus), with their lovely orangey-yellow stripes around the thorax.

After spending a pleasant hour with these creatures, and with no other bee species being spotted, I called it a day.

Visit to Bury Down (near West Ilsley).

I visited Bury Down, near West Ilsley, on the fourteenth of June. This section of the Ridgeway is served with two car parks and interpretation boards. In addition, it overlooks the A34 dual carriageway and the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. The views here are stunning, and it is a great spot for a picnic.

I followed the Ridgeway in a north-westerly direction in the hope of finding bees. Having walked a short distance from the carpark, a notice caught my eye. ‘Please keep off the verges, thanks’, it directed. On closer inspection the Department of Biology, from Oxford University, were doing a study to find out what can be done to bring more ‘native plants, insects and other wildlife to the area’. I concluded that perhaps all was not well with the wild native plants and creatures. As chance would have it, I observed something which perhaps got to the crux of what was going wrong with the environment in this area.

The Crop Sprayer

You could hear this machine a mile off. A winged yet non-levitating vehicle, spewing a fine mist over the oil seed rape. I am sure farmers would say this is a safe practice and doesn’t harm nature. Like they said a few years ago with neonicotinoids, or like what their grandfathers said with DDT, or like what their great grandfathers said with lead arsenate. So what makes them right this time?

However, in these circumstances would I see any Ridgeway bees? Amongst the long grass I found pockets of wild flowers. It followed that there would be flying insects including butterflies and bees. I set up my tripod and camera, then observed.

On one tall, flowering plant (possibly sainfoin), a small, brown bumblebee foraged. I later identified this as a shrill carder bee (bombus sylvarum). Furthermore, on a kidney vetch (anthyllis vulneraria) a yellow and black bumblebee hovered and this appears to be a garden bumblebee (bombus hortorum). Interestingly, there were a couple of insects on a buttercup flower mating, which I couldn’t identify as bees yet were amusing to watch.

After spending pleasant hours amongst flora and insects, I returned to the car.

White Horse Hill To Waylandsmithy – Looking For Ridgeway Bees.

I got up early and drove to White Horse Hill; it was the summer solstice. I set-up the camera and tripod on the hillside to capture the rising sun. Even though it was the apex of summer, nonetheless I felt the chilliness during the morning dawn. As always, the fiery, yellow ball rose above the horizon and I knew the day would be glorious.

Thereafter, I made my way across the meadow and headed for the Ridgeway. This section of the path is well kept: no ruts, no potholes; no deep puddles. Thistles were in force along the verges, with their magnificent amethyst crowns. A plethora of Ridgeway bees flocked t...


04/09/23 • 10 min

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Local Honey Near Me

Beehive Yourself Podcast


05/01/23 • 6 min

How can I find local honey near me? I often see this and similar questions posed on community pages and I have several tips to help you track down jars of this golden flowery-wonderfulness. I summarise below:

1. Roadside Local Honey Near Me;

2. Local Shops, Service Stations, Farm shops and Garden Centres;

3. Seek Local Knowledge About Who Sells Local Honey Near Me;

4. Online Honey Shops.

A Shameless Plug

As a shameless plug, I am a beekeeper and I sell my local honey online – please find me at the beehive yourself shop, and if you live near Wantage, I deliver for free. Nonetheless, some of you may wish to buy it even closer to home.

Roadside Local Honey Near Me

One way is to keep your eyes peeled when driving, or walking down your local streets. Many beekeepers have hives in their back garden and display signs near the highway with words such as ‘local honey’, ‘honey for sale’ or ‘honey – buy me here’. However, this form of retail entails knocking on the apiarist’s door; rest assured that whilst bees can sting, beekeepers usually don’t.

That being said, some honey-sellers have a self-service setup, where the honey resides in the porch and you pay by using the honesty box. So, don’t forget to bring cash with you.

Local Shops, Service Stations, Farm Shops and Garden Centres

Everyone needs to take their cut, so more often than not local shops can be an expensive option. This is particularly true of farm shops and garden centres. Some of these vendors are quite unscrupulous and screw both the poor beekeeper and the consumer on price.

One example of a farm shop near me is Saddleback and they sell a range of local honey.

Seeking Local Knowledge About Who Sells Honey Near Me

Another way to find these hive products would be to contact your local beekeepers’ association. They can be found by using your favourite online search engine. Once found, their webpage should provide a means to contact. Alternatively, check out the British Bee-keepers Association’s website to find a local organisation.

However, more often than not the person responsible for communicating with the public has probably been press-ganged into the role. This means that the volunteer is either an inept administrator, a misanthropic dragon or maybe both. Consequently, if you get a response at all you are doing well, and if you get a useful answer in your quest for finding local honey near you [me], then kudos to you!

A better way to find bee-juice would be to use social media. More specifically, join a local community group. One Facebook group I frequent is the ‘Wantage and Grove Community’ and members have actually asked the query (see banner image above).

Where can I get local honey please?

They got some great answers. So, give it a go!

Online Honey Shops

Some beekeepers, like myself, have online shops ( To find one near you, go to your favourite search engine (for instance google). Then, type in the name of the place where you live, or the nearby town, followed by the word ‘honey’. Often beemen, like yours truly, offer free delivery depending on where you live.


I hope I have helped you with this common question: how to find local honey near me? In all probability the answer to this query is right under your nose, either a short walk or a few clicks away.

Please let me know your experiences of finding local honey in the comments section.


Beehive Yourself Website Blog

Wantage Honey

The post Local Honey Near Me appeared first on Beehive Yourself Podcast.


05/01/23 • 6 min

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How many episodes does Beehive Yourself Podcast have?

Beehive Yourself Podcast currently has 2 episodes available.

What topics does Beehive Yourself Podcast cover?

The podcast is about History, Nature, Podcasts and Science.

What is the most popular episode on Beehive Yourself Podcast?

The episode title 'Ridgeway Bees' is the most popular.

What is the average episode length on Beehive Yourself Podcast?

The average episode length on Beehive Yourself Podcast is 8 minutes.

How often are episodes of Beehive Yourself Podcast released?

Episodes of Beehive Yourself Podcast are typically released every 22 days, 9 hours.

When was the first episode of Beehive Yourself Podcast?

The first episode of Beehive Yourself Podcast was released on Apr 9, 2023.

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