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For expert advice contact us on

+44 (0) 1673 858 555 or sales@thorne.co.uk

Rand Sale Day 2023

Here is a rundown of the day:

8am: Sale of Third Quality Hive Parts, Order Collections, Main Shop, Wax Exchange, Museum and Restaurant open

9am: Main Seconds Sale starts

10am: Factory Tour

10am: Talk - Chemical Free Beekeeping Using Small Cell Foundation with John White

11am: Factory Tour

11:30am: Talk - Simple Swarm Measures with Tony Jefferson

1pm: Talk - Checkerboarding with John White



We will also have our ever popular thirds at our Sale Day. Prices are shown as below and will be first come, first served. National broods will be limited per customer and cannot be pre-ordered.

We will also be selling pine supers in packs of 10.  The pine is homegrown in the UK and as such has a very low carbon footprint.  Price per 10 pine supers is £120.  Nails and runners are not included.


Here is a little about our speakers and what they will be covering:

Tony Jefferson - Tony is a 3rd generation beekeeper and has been involved in beekeeping since given his first pair of wellies, when he was able to do useful 'fetching and carrying' stuff, so probably since the age of four! Tony is a senior show judge and holds general assessment. He likes to keep things simple as practically taught by his father Allan. Tony manages anywhere between 50 - 100 colonies and specialises in heather honey production, therefore his beekeeping year is based on breeding bees for heather and getting flower honey by accident. Tony has also written a book, The Jefferson Beekeeping Guide, which he will refer to in his talk.

John White - John is a hobbyist beekeeper who keeps his bees in Pangbourne, just west of Reading. He has kept bees for the last 12 years in a small village. He likes to experiment with different methods of keeping bees, with a particular passion for chemical free beekeeping. He has given many talks to beekeeping associations in the south of England on Checkerboarding and Small Cell beekeeping. He co-authored the book: Checkerboarding, and is currently writing another book on Chemical Free Beekeeping. His part-time day job is with us at our branch in Windsor, which provides many opportunities to talk about and develop his beekeeping ideas and test the pulse of fellow beekeepers.

Chemical Free Beekeeping Using Small Cell Foundation with John White at 10am

John will talk about one aspect of chemical free beekeeping: the use of small cell foundation. He will describe why he went down the chemical free route, some of the implications for our bees and beekeeping of using varroacides, current thinking on how it might work and what the research says about the use of small cell within beekeeping. John will show you how you could introduce this practice within your beekeeping, and suggest how wild/unmanaged colonies in his local area cope with varroa. He will go into what to expect from using small cell, both good and otherwise! 

Simple Swarm Measures with Tony Jefferson at 11:30am

Tony will do a practical talk and demonstration, using Thornes hive parts and the twinstock hive, on simplifying the mysteries artificial swarming - for those who cannot remember all the daft words given to various swarming procedures. Especially useful when you find umpteen queen cells in your colony and can't remember what to do. Keeping things simple is the aim. So it is basically "demystifying" swarming!

Checkerboarding with John White at 1pm

Checkerboarding is a fascinating method of avoiding swarming without intervening in the brood. It has been used by a small minority of beekeepers in the USA (for the last 25 years) and the UK (6 years) with some surprising fringe aspects. It is a truly low intervention form of beekeeping. There is no need to go into the brood box to check for swarm preparation throughout the season. It is a one-time exercise. Unlike most things that sound too good to be true this works. We have had no swarms or swarm cells for the last 6 years. It is simple and effective. Like everything there are ups and downs about this method but we believe the benefits to the beekeeper far outweigh the other considerations.

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