Category Archives: Bee keeping Cambridge


Changing oils with the seasons

As spring develops, I have dealt with my first swarms of bees, they were on a sage bush on my allotment in Trumpington Cambridge. I notice that the essential oils I use change a little. I use less Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree, warming oils that help to prevent and deal with infections. I find myself using more of the cooling oils such as Lemon, Melissa and geranium.

Asthma and hay fever become more common and I use anti-inflammatory oils like chamomile to help with that. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are said by many sufferers to be  worse in the colder months and while research suggests the correlation is weak at best it is difficult to deny the experience of individuals. I don’t have enough clients with these conditions to form a strong view on the subject. As ever I treat the individual rather than the index complaint.

In summary, I find myself treating clients now who are more likely to need cooling oils than the hot dry natured oils I use more of in winter. There is still a chance to book an Aromatherapy massage with the £% off for new clients till the end of April making one hour £45 and ninety minutes £50.

Call 07939273569 or email to book.

Willow is one of the first substantial pollen and nectar sources.


Willow may not be a part of the aromatherapist’s tool box but it is an important plant in my life and historically an important medicinal plant. Salix, the generic name for the willow species is the clue. Salicylic Acid is the precursor of Asprin, the first of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to be produced. Prior to that people would chew the bitter tasting willow bark or alternatively take a tea made with feverfew shich also contains salicylic acid.

The picture above shows willow being planted around the bee hives on the Trumpington Allotment site. This now provides a screen which encourages the bees to fly upwards when leaving the hives rather than across vegetable plots at head height. It also provides a wind break, protecting the hives from being blown over and allowing the bees to get out just a little more than they might if the hives were in the open.

IMG_20150410_104624 It also gives the bees some early pollen and nectar helping them to build up their numbers ready for the main nectar flow. Willow and other early flowering trees are an important part of the life cycle of a honey bee colony and I am sure that some of the other willow plantings in the area which are much more substantial than the living hedge we have planted will make a substantial difference to the ten colonies on the allotment site and the many others I know of in the area.