Bee Bibliography

The following articles have been reviewed during the preparation of bee related articles for this site.

For it is only by continuing to ask questions that we can find something that resembles a solution to the complex problems of climate change and sustainability.

Salbany, F, 2021. Ongoing study into the Wild Bees of Blenheim Palace.

Wild (unmanaged and self-sustaining) Honey Bees living in the Ancient Woodland of a 400-acre estate providing a priceless study landscape for how Bees can manage climate and pest threats. See also Thompson G’s response to the article posted …

Noëmie El Agrebi, et al. (2021). Risk and protective indicators of beekeeping management practices, Science of The Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697,

Face to face study in Belgium shows evidence of a relationship with Beekeeping practices and colony losses. Main factors included adaptability of bee keeper, hive type, appropriate overwintering and integrated pest management.

Thompson G, (2021) Rethinking the box, Bee Craft Magazine

Discussion of how three simple year around modifications: insulation above and around the main nest; a cold sump; and restrictive entrances are sufficient to remove the immediate pressures on a colony. Implemented alongside broader steps improves the chance of colony survival in the face of modern pressures and provides something more natural.

Hesbach, B, (2020). The Condensing Colony, American Bee Journal Vol 160 No. 2.

A discussion on the benefits of a insulated ‘condensing’ hive in comparison to a thin wall ‘ventilated’ hive. insulation works both across all seasons and as research shows can minimise the reproductive success rate of Varroa.

Hunter, J. (2020). Laying the Foundation for Utah’s Beekeeping Success, 1848–1888. Utah Historical Quarterly, 88(3), 188-202. doi:10.5406/utahhistquar.88.3.0188

Summary to follow.


Investigating the effect of internal size and thermal insulation of the hive on colony strength (sealed brood) and productivity (honey and pollen area). Langstroth hives were used with internal sizes being restricted. Significant increases in hive temperature, pollen and colony strength were seen when using the smallest hive size (0.024m3) and insulation.

SEELEY, T. (2010). Honeybee Democracy. PRINCETON; OXFORD: Princeton University Press.

The story of Seeley’s research into democratic debate within Bee Colonies including house hunting and preferences for nest locations and arrangements.

Varroa and other pests.

Hawkins, G.P., Martin, S.J. (2021), Elevated recapping behaviour and reduced Varroa destructor reproduction in natural Varroa resistant Apis mellifera honey bees from the UK. Apidologie 52, 647–657.

Investigation into the role of recapping in natural Varroa resistant (NVR) colonies. Mite reproduction is lower in NVR colonies where recapping is observed.

Oddie, M.A.Y., Burke, A., Dahle, B. et al. (2021) Reproductive success of the parasitic mite (Varroa destructor) is lower in honeybee colonies that target infested cells with recapping. Sci Rep 11, 9133.

Study reports that colonies with high levels of recapping have lower average mite reproduction success.

Mitchell D. 2019 Nectar, humidity, honey bees (Apis mellifera) and varroa in summer: a theoretical thermofluid analysis of the fate of water vapour from honey ripening and its implications on the
control of Varroa destructor.
J. R. Soc. Interface 16: 20190048.

This study provides the theoretical basis for new avenues of research into the control of varroa, via the modification of beekeeping practices to help maintain higher hive humidities.

B. Kraus (1997) High Humidity in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Brood Nest Limits Reproduction of the Parasitic Mite (Varroa jacobsoni) Oud. The Science of Nature 84(5):217-218 DOI:10.1007/s001140050382

Under tropical conditions where relative humidity within the hive often matches ambient relative humidity population growth of V. Jacobsoni is unexpectedly low. These environment conditions are less common in cold and temperate climates leading to the suggestion that active attempts to increase hive humidity might be beneficial.


Meral Kekecoglu et al. (2020). The Relationships Between Propolis Collecting Capability and Morphometric Features of Some Honey Bee Races and Ecotypes in Anatolia. Tarim Bilimleri Dergisi

Study into the propolis collecting capacity of the Honey Bee Race in Turkey. Study concludes that enlargement of certain morphological properties such as legs and wings can lead to better propolis collecting capability.

Overwintering and Cold Climates

Connor, Larry, (2005) OVERWINTERING In The Northeast II, Bee Culture Vol 133, pg. 37

Summary to follow.

Szabo, T. I. & Szabo, D. C. (2004), Observations on the Importance of Hive Top Entrances During Winter. American Bee Journal 144: 936-938. ISSN: 0002-7626 ResearchGate

Further study of bees over wintering with particular focus on top entrances. They conclude that colonies are better able to utilise clustering to regulate temperature, waste elimination and air circulation

Szabo, T.I (1989), Thermology of Wintering Honey-Bee Colonies in 4-Colony Packs. 1. The direct effects of hive insulation on colony temperatures. American Bee Journal, Volume 129, Pages 338-339. 2. Effects of the removal of insulation on colony temperatures. American Bee Journal, Volume 129, Pages 405.406

1. Hives packed in blocks of four, covered with insulation, and with top and bottom entrances has a strong influence on colony temperature. Suggests research into whether reduced heat loss encourages egg laying and brood rearing. 2. Clusters move towards the inner (warmer) walls. Suggests to maximise spring temps delayed removal of insulation is justified.

SEELEY, T.D. and VISSCHER, P.K. (1985), Survival of honeybees in cold climates: the critical timing of colony growth and reproduction. Ecological Entomology, 10: 81-88.

Study of bees in cold climates observing the cycles of brood rearing and swaming. Due to the limitations on food collection and large demands on food over winter period the timing of colony growth and reproduction (brood laying mid-winter) are essential elements in adaptions for winter survival.

Szabo, T.I. (1983), Effects of various entrances and hive direction on outdoor wintering of honey bee colonies. American Bee Journal 123(1): 47-49. ISSN/ISBN: 0002-7626

Over two winters, 128 Langstroth hives were kept with one of four entrance arrangements and in different directions in the context of Nosema treatment.

E.F PHILLIPS. and G.F DEMUTH, (1915) OUTDOOR WINTERING OF BEES. Farmers Bulletin 695

Ensuring strong colonies going into the winter with ‘abundant’ insulation prompting excellent heat conservation.

Anderson E.J (1943) Some Research on the Wintering of Bees. Gleanings in Bee Culture Volume 71 Pages 681-683

The temperature of empty hives monitored over winter period. Hives were arranged with different degrees of insulation/packing. Some were given top entrances. All were given a 15W bulb to simulate clustering. Conclusion is that packing/insulating provides a more constant environment. However the temperature in unprotected hives rises quick enough on sunny days to facilitate cleansing flights and adjustments to the cluster to take place. Consideration that were environmental conditions do not provide the above conditions insulation provides all important heat conservation.


Horton, H, (2021) Urban beehive craze means city-dwelling insects are running out of nectar. The Telegraph.

The recent increase in interest for keeping Honey Bees has led others to suggest that the increase in numbers is causing problems for other pollinators and nectar dependant bugs.

Sagkinetos, D (yyyy) Stefanos G Della Rocca – The Father of Beekeeping.…pdf

Article looking at Stefano Della Rocca, a Catholic priest from the island of Syros who invented the first wooden hive with moveable comb in 1780.


You can read all the American Bee Journals on their publishers(?) website at

Beecraft publish limited articles on their website.