|Catford beekeeper Greg Boon and his WBC hives
Change of Tack
January is always a quiet time in the beekeeping world and we reflect
this in this edition of Apis-UK. I have no doubt that all of us
have made our New Year resolutions to do better in our various
endeavours. I have to make a fairly comprehensive one all round,
or little in the way of improvement gets done, but at the moment,
it is especially quiet for me because for the first time in years
I am without a single colony. (Perhaps I ought to take the opportunity
and make a resolution never to get involved in beekeeping again!).
I extracted the last of my non organic honey at the beginning of
December (from just 2 remaining hives), sold them and that was
that. In April I will receive 150 nucs of organic bees and 150
brand new Langstroth hives. When the Langstroth hive was first
seen in Spain, it was regarded as such a marvel that it was called
the ‘Perfection’ and it is still called that now. When
Langstroth was apprised of this he remarked that ‘nothing
in life is perfect. Only God is perfect’. He was right of
course, because as far as I have seen (at least in Spain), all
Langstroth/perfection hives seem to be different according to who
Even though January is traditionally a quiet month for beekeepers
and beekeeping journals, as we move forward into 2004 there is
a background noise to it all which tells us that although dormant,
the beekeeping scene is alive and well. Conference results are
followed up; new conferences and shows are being planned; new strategies
are being mapped out by both individuals and governments concerning
the best use of scarce resources to improve beekeeping; and most
importantly, new beekeepers are coming onto the scene with none
of the hang-ups of previous pre atomic generations. Certainly in
Spain, beekeeping is booming, with more and more taking up the
business with encouragement from governments, agricultural unions
(and European money).
GMOs. A Clearer Picture?
In this issue of the newsletter, we bring you our by now familiar
blend of articles, news items and subjects of interest and we introduce
you to several other websites worth viewing. The GMO debate continues
as ever but now we can hear some clear and concise and learned
opinion on the subject from one of the most eminent bee scientists
in the world Professor Mark Winston of Canada, writing in IBRAs
house magazine Bee World. He manages to put the subject into context
whilst stripping away the myths and baggage that in my opinion
have fouled up both sides of the debate to such an extent that
the more important issues are often buried under piles of irrelevant,
ideological garbage. (And that is being polite about it). A report
on Professor Winston’s guest editorial in Bee World appears
below in the ‘the bee press’ section.
I am often contacted by editors of local association magazines/quarterly
reviews etc asking if they can use pieces from Apis-UK or quote
from our newsletter. Well I am all for this. Beekeeping information
can and should be disseminated as widely as possible to beekeepers
and local magazines are an important part of the beekeeping world
in the UK. But if you do use information from Apis-UK, please acknowledge
us as your source of information.
In This Issue
Our Poem of the Month has been written especially with beekeepers
in mind by the poet Maura Murphy and we introduce her web site
to our readers, whilst in the Historical Note there is some fairly
racy reading especially for those who can translate Latin. All
to do with the French of course. We have expanded the Recipe Section
slightly so as to add an apitherapy recipe; this week a tincture
of propolis for both external and internal use, and our Fact File
of the month is a short dissertation on updates in the battle against
EFB and AFB. A slight Spanish flavour is provided by news of Argentinian
honey residue problems, Mathew Allen almost gets serious with some
poetry, and our other regular contributors Ian Rumsey and John
Yates provide us as usual with much valuable beekeeping information.
Continuing with our Spanish theme, we look at a thoroughly Spanish
honey show at the Andalucian city of Cordoba, once the centre of
the enlightened world and so all in all, I think we have something
I hope that 2004 is a good year for you all and I hope that you
enjoy the January issue of Apis-UK. Remember that we are always
interested in hearing about your branch activities; your beekeeping
and your praise or damnation, or requirements for Apis-UK, so do
write in and keep in contact. If you want more (or less) let us
know. David Cramp. Editor.
TRANSGENIC POLLEN AS A CONTROL FOR WAX MOTH
In an interesting piece of research, the effects of dietry transgenic
pollen on 4 to 5 day larvae of honey bees and wax moth were examined.
There was little significant effect on the bee larvae, but the
wax moth larvae fed the transgenic pollen suffered a significantly
higher mortality rate. This suggests that the transgenic Bt corn
pollen has the potential to serve as an alternative control for
wax moth. (JAR 4 2003. IBRA).
LONDON BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION
The LBKA have informed Apis-UK of their new website which can be
viewed at www.lbka.org.uk
HONEY BEE GENE MAP ASSEMBLED
We have reported previously on the research to assemble the honey
bee gene map, and now the result has been published. The sequence
shows that the honey bee genome is about one tenth of the size
of the human genome and contains about 300 million DNA base pairs.
(These are the matching rungs on the ladder like double helix that
makes up DNA). The final part of the research will be to discover
exactly where the genes lie and what they do. If you want to look
at the map, there are several sites on the net. One of them is:
A SENSE OF SMELL
It has often been put forward by researchers that the use of GMOs
could enable farmers to cut down on the use of harmful insecticides,
and there is some justification in this, but what about the use
of insecticides that could stop certain insects from using the
essential sense of smell or from picking up pheromone signals.
In research by scientists in Switzerland, Japan and at the University
of California - Davis, some 15 months ago, a key step in an insect’s
sense of smell was discovered. Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
(NMR), the researchers were able to show how a protein in the antenna
of an insect picks up pheromones, and then the protein changes
its shape so as to eject the pheromone precisely onto sensitive
nerve endings. As many insects depend upon pheromones to communicate
with each other whether finding a mate or searching for food, by
finding and designing new compounds that fit in the binding pocket
of the protein but which couldn’t be ejected, it would prevent
the insect from detecting the all important chemical signals.
(Insects ‘smell’ with their antennae. Pheromone binding
proteins (PBP) pick up pheromones in pores on the outside of the
antenna and carry them through to the nerve endings where they
are released. The new NMR results showed that PBP changes its shape
to eject the pheromone molecule, the change of shape being triggered
by a drop in the pH level when the PBP/pheromone complex reaches
the nerve ending). If you want to see pheromone transport in action,
an animation is available at: http://chemecol.ucdavis.edu/animations/PBP1_w_sound.html
PRESENCE OF ILLEGAL RESIDUES AFFECTS ARGENTINIAN HONEY EXPORTS
Figures now show that following the discovery in the UK in August
of illegal residues in imported Argentinian honey, the amounts
of honey exports from Argentina fell by 19.7% in August and a huge
78%in September compared with the same months of 2002. The Argentinian
national food hygiene service (SENASA) in anxious to avoid a Chinese
style ban by Europe immediately instituted an investigation into
possible causes of the contamination, and has taken serious steps
to prevent contaminated honey being exported. By carrying out analyses
of both honeys and products used to feed bees, they have pinpointed
one of the possible causes as being the preparation of illegal
patties (alfajores) used in feeding bees. Examples of these gave
positive results. SENASA has established a series of measures to
prevent re occurrence of contaminated exports. Honey will be analysed
prior to export and those found negative for prohibited residues
will carry a sanitary certificate; exporters will have to demonstrate
traceability of the product, and honey barrels for export will
have to display the number of the extraction centre followed by
the year and the lot number.
NEW IBRA EDITORIAL SERVICE
With their wealth of experience and expertise in scientific publishing,
the staff at IBRA are now able to offer a new editorial service
which for authors who have difficulty in writing in English. Articles
that are well written are processed more easily- and therefore
faster- than articles requiring extensive editing. Referees are
more likely to be positive in their comments if the English language
is clear and concise. IBRA is offering this service at low cost
in order to encourage authors whose first language is not English
to get their work more widely known and published in an international
journal. Rates start as low as 10 pounds sterling per hour for
IBRA members and 20 pounds sterling for non members. The cost will
vary according to the standard of English and the complexity. An
estimate will be given on submission of the article. For further
EUROPEAN BEE PATHOLOGY GROUP FORMED
Writing in the IBRA journal Bee World, Norman Carreck of Rothamsted
Research informs us of one of the lesser known announcements following
the Apimondia in Slovenia last year was the formation of the European
Bee Pathology Group with an initial steering committe of Brenda
Ball (UK), Ingemar Fries (Sweden) and Wolgang Ritter (Germany).
The aim of the group is to draw together bee pathologists across
Europe in order to improve communication and to better coordinate
activities. An effective working group will obviously be able to
make better use of available funding opportunities. The first priority
is to compile an up to date directory of European bee pathology
researchers. Those wishing to be included in this register should
forward a contact card (available in Microsoft Outlook), via email
to the acting secretary Norman L Carreck, Rothamsted Research at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Your details should include your name,
position, current research interests and/or current advisory and
extension activities and details of a maximum of five recent publications.
The group will be having its first discussion meeting under the
overall umbrella of EurBee at the European Conference of Apidology
at Udine in Italy in September 2004.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TROPICAL BEES
The Brazilian Bee Research Meeting held every two years in Ribeirao
Preto since 1994 is the main bee research meeting in that country
and usually has about 300 participants, with speakers from the
USA, Europe, Africa and other parts of South America. This year,
the meeting will be held in conjunction with IBRA’s Conference
on Tropical Bees. This meeting s held every four years and the
last two events being held in Costa Rica and Thailand. All the
talks and posters will be in English, so for those interested
in tropical bees, this will be the place to be. Ribeirao Preto
has a campus of the University of Sao Paulo with 11 professors
and over 40 post graduate students involved in Bee research.
It also maintains the world’s largest collection of stingless
social bees with over 300 species and is a world centre for the
study of the Africanised bee and on varroa. It is interesting
to note that brazil has more bee researchers than anywhere else
in the world. For those interested in attending the conference,
contact IBRA at www.ibra.org.uk
ORGANIC BEEKEEPING CONFERENCE
On the subject of conferences, and of great interest to me was
the first meeting in Spain of organic beekeepers. This was held
during the Madrid Bio Culture Fair in Madrid and is the first
such conference that I know about in Europe. It was attended
by 60 beekeepers with the aim of establishing communication between
organic honey producers. The development of organic produce,
especially honey is an ongoing process in Spain which is Europe’s
largest honey producer and with a university department at Cordoba
specialising in this organic beekeeping process, it is evident
that it has a great future and many possibilities for beekeepers
generally. If anyone knows of other organic beekeeping organisations
in Europe, please write in to Apis-UK and tell us about them.
Organic food production has I suspect a longer and more sustainable
future than other more controversial technologies. Ed.
8TH IBRA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TROPICAL BEES
Diversity and VI Encontro sobre Abelhas Ribeirao Preto, Brazil 6-10
September 2004. Continuing the well-known series of conferences
on bees and beekeeping in the tropics, held by IBRA every four years
since 1976 and including
the 6th Brazilian Bee Research Meeting.
The Brazilian Bee Research Meeting (Encontro Sobre Abelhas) has
been held in Ribeirao Preto every two years since 1994. It is the
meeting for bee research in Brazil, and has had about 300 participants
(all directly involved in honey bee and native bee research) from
all over Brazil. Speakers from other countries, including the USA,
various countries in Europe, Africa, and other parts of South America
also participate. The last meeting had 46 oral presentations and
about 300 posters. In 2004 this meeting will be held in conjunction
with the International Bee Research Association (IBRA) International
Conference on Tropical Apiculture. The IBRA conference is held
every four years. The last two events were held in Costa Rica and
Thailand. All of the talks and posters will be in English, so that
we can better integrate with our foreign guests. We expect about
500 participants in this combined event.
This will be an excellent opportunity to get to know Brazilian bee
researchers. The University of Sao Paulo campus in Ribeirao Preto
alone has 11 professors and over 40 graduate students and postdocs
actively involved in bee research. It has the world's largest collection
of stingless social bees (Meliponini), with over 300 species. It
is also a world-recognized center for research on Africanized honey
bees and on the varroa. Brazil probably has more bee researchers
than anywhere else in the world.
The themes covered at the conference (provisional) are:
* Ecology of native bees
* Biology and management of Africanized honey bees
* Pollination of crops
* Pests, parasites and diseases of tropical bees
* Conserving biodiversity of tropical bees
* Bee products
* Genetic advances in bees
* Beekeeping development
On 8 September, the third day of the meeting, there
will be mid-conference excursions to the university campus to visit
the research laboratories
and apiaries, as well as a trip to a bee product processing company
- Apis Flora www.apisflora.com - the only such company that has
ISO 9002, and a visit to Professor Paulo Nogueira- Neto's farm
that has an extensive collection of stingless bee colonies (as
well as social spiders!) that have been studied by researchers
from all over the world. There will also be pre- and post-conference
tours to places such as the Amazon forest and the Brazilian Pantanal.
Details of these will be posted on the conference website.
Venue and conference hotel
This event will be held at the J P hotel
in Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo, Brazil. The J P hotel is a five-star
hotel with several swimming
pools, a tennis court and other facilities on a pleasant, beautifully
landscaped five hectare property, at the entrance to Ribeirao Preto.
The website for this hotel www.hoteljp.com.br is in English, Spanish
and Portuguese. When you make your reservations, you should indicate
that you are participating in the Bee Research Meeting as there
is a 30% discount on the room rates for conference participants.
The prices in dollars are quite reasonable. E- mail your inquiries
about hotel reservations to email@example.com Reserve your
room soon, as space is limited! Other hotels will be made available,
but they will require vehicular transportation to the event site.
Online Registration forms and full details for
International Delegates now are available on the IBRA website at
www.ibra.org.uk and follow
the links to Future Events. Secure payment by credit card is available
on the website.
Local Delegates (resident in Brazil only) should contact Encontro@rge.fmrp.usp.br
online submission of abstracts
The preferred method of submitting
abstracts is online via the IBRA web pages. Go to www.ibra.org.uk and follow the links to Future
Events. Please use a new form for each abstract if submitting more
THE BEE PRESS
Beecraft January 2004 Volume 86 Number 1
The latest issue of Bee Craft offers a wealth of information, advice
and items of interest for all beekeepers in its monthly columns. http://www.bee-craft.com/ The
following is its contents list:
Editorial; Claire Waring; Rafter beekeeping in Cambodia Danny Jump
and Claire Waring; Friend or Foe? Celia Davis NDB; A sting in the
tail! Michael Boki; The beekeeping year - January Pam Gregory MA,
NDB; Integrated pest management in beekeeping David Aston Phd, NDB;
My annual ordeal Eric Ward; It all began in a bookshop Cassandra
Elliott; A select National Honey Show Don Hannon; The case of the
goden queen's diamonds-part 2 Karl Showler; The Leamington Conference
Ruby Smith; Letters to the Editor; The 'B' Kids; Around the colony;
Classified; advertisements; Calendar.
||Cover: A colony of Apis dorsata occupy a rafter
set out for them by honey collectors in Cambodia.
Contents: Guest editorial. Mark Winston
Honey production by the Mayans in the Yucatan peninsular.
The potential for using male selection in breeding honey bees resistant
to Varroa destructor.
Science round up. Some impressions of Apimondia, by Norman L Carreck.
World Honey trade. Focus on china.
Index to Vol 84.
The guest editorial by Professor Mark Winston of the Simon Fraser
University of Burnaby in British Columbia brings a refreshingly up
to date outlook on the thorny subject of GMOs. He effectively destroys
many of the myths about the science which he shows to be more to
do with spin propagated by both sides in the debate which lead to
completely erroneous claims and newspaper reports. ‘Industry
has used the sword of ‘science based’ information to
cut through the regulatory process, ignoring concerns that are rooted
in values other than science. Opposition groups have used our subliminal
distrust of corporations to generate an aversion to GM crops that
has little to do with real risks and much to do with the politics
of globalisation, multinational corporations and political agenda’.
From this introductory statement professor Winston goes on to suggest
that much of the bad press concerning this science has little basis
in truth and gives some good examples of the ‘good’ in
the science, for instance, growers of GM crops in the USA used 20.9
million Kg less of pesticides in 2001 than they would have done with
conventional varieties. But he also indicates that reduction in wild
bee diversity is an unexplored concern with GMOs but questions the
issue concerning the impact of agriculture in general on biodiversity.
He concludes by asking whether we should be asking a different set
of questions to those we have asked so far: Is our increasing reliance
on biotechnology reducing the diversity of agricultural practices?
Is this healthy for the long term sustainability of food production?
What if we spent a portion of the amount spent on biotechnology research
on ecological studies of sustainable agriculture; would we then have
a need to invest in biotechnology? And finally, how can we improve
the civility of the debate?
This editorial is worth reading for all those who want a
clear idea of the issues involved without the scare stories. I
have always considered
that current opponents of GM research and GM technology have not
used best available arguments to counter the science and in fact
may well have ‘put people off’ and lost them as allies.
The views of Mark Winston, a bee professor of world renown, come
as a refreshing change. Ed.
AN INVESTIGATION INTO NATURAL COMB (Part 4)
Finally let us consider the shape of an actual hive which consists
of a brood box 2ft x 2ft and 1ft deep, a super also 2ft x 2ft and
1ft deep, with queen excluder in between.
We will assume that the bees are evenly distributed throughout the
hive and that the phoretic mites are evenly distributed amongst the
bees. Under these circumstances the centre of the brood-nest may
be taken to be half-way up the brood box, 6 inches above the floor
The centre of the mass of bees may be taken as 1ft above floor level.
The distance between these two masses is 6 inches and is indicative
of the average distance between the phoretic mites and the brood-nest.
Keeping the hive capacity the same, let us now envisage a brood box
1ft x 1ft and 4ft deep with a super also 1ft x 1ft and 4ft deep,
positioned on top, again with queen excluder in between. The distance
between the centre of the brood-nest and the centre of the mass of
bees has now increased from 6 inches to 2ft.The traveling distance
of the mites to possible nest sites has increased by 400 percent,
again to the detriment of the varroa.
A tall thin hive is therefore better than a short fat hive.
So to summarize. The shape of the hive increases varroa traveling
distances and in consequence increases grooming opportunities in
(1) Provision of an oval brood-nest instead of circular
(2) Orientation of the oval brood-nest so that the major axis is
(3) Provision of a tall narrow volume for colony occupation
There may be in fact a fourth and even a fifth advantage.
If varroa have a sense of awareness of the location of suitable nest
sites, this awareness must have some limiting range and a falling
off of accuracy at its upper limit, so the distance between host
and parasite is of importance.
Also viewing suitable nest sites ‘end on’ to the oval
brood-nest would result in a smaller surface area being scanned which
would reduce the attraction and increase multiple mite cell infestation
as it would appear, to the mites, that fewer cells were available
LOCAL HONEY AND ALLERGIES
As one who makes his living by writing about allergies and asthma
I am often asked about the potential health benefits of using local
Honey contains bits and pieces of pollen and honey, and as an immune
system booster, it is quite powerful. I have often in talks and articles,
and in my
books, advocated using local honey. Frequently I’ll get emails from readers
who want to know exactly what I mean by local honey, and how “local” should
it be. This is what I usually advise:
Allergies arise from continuous over-exposure to the same allergens. If, for
example, you live in an area where there is a great deal of red clover growing,
and if in addition you often feed red clover hay to your own horses or cattle,
then it likely you are exposed over and over to pollen from this same red clover.
Now, red clover pollen is not especially allergenic but still, with time, a
serious allergy to it can easily arise.
Another example: if you lived in a southern area where bottlebrush trees were
frequently used in the landscapes or perhaps you had a bottlebrush tree growing
in your own yard, your odds of over-exposure to this tree’s tiny, triangular,
and potently very allergenic pollen is greatly enhanced.
In the two examples used above, both species of plants are what we call amphipilous,
meaning they are pollinated by both insects and by the wind. Honeybees will
collect pollen from each of these species and it will be present in small amounts
in honey that was gathered by bees that were working areas where these species
are growing. When people living in these same areas eat honey that was produced
in that environment, the honey will often act as an immune booster. The good
effects of this local honey are best when the honey is taken a little bit (a
couple of teaspoons-full) a day for several months prior to the pollen season.
When I’m asked how local should the honey be for allergy prevention I
always advise to get honey that was raised closest to where you live, the closer
the better since it will have more of exactly what you’ll need.
It may seem odd that straight exposure to pollen often triggers allergies but
that exposure to pollen in the honey usually has the opposite effect. But this
is typically what we see. In honey the allergens are delivered in small, manageable
doses and the effect over time is very much like that from undergoing a whole
series of allergy immunology injections. The major difference though is that
the honey is a lot easier to take and it is certainly a lot less expensive.
I am always surprised that this powerful health benefit of local honey is not
more widely understood, as it is simple, easy, and often surprisingly effective.
Thomas Leo Ogren
Mr. Ogren is the author of five published books, including Allergy-free
Gardening, and also of, Safe Sex in the Garden. Tom does consulting
on allergies and landscaping for, among others, the USDA urban
foresters, the American Lung Association, for county asthma coalitions,
landscape, nursery and arborists’ associations, and for www.Allegra.com
Tom’s own website is www.allergyfree-gardening.com
For those beekeepers who want to know how much food their bees are
consuming over the winter period, the following article by John Yates
will be of interest. Ed.
CONSUMPTION OF STORES DURING WINTER
As a follow
up to the two previous articles that I wrote on feeding honeybees
and preparing syrup in quantities for feeding, I have dug
out from my records the following which hopefully will nicely round
off what the colony does with the stores that we give them for winter.
The short answer is that it doesn’t do much with them in the
winter as shown below.
Many years ago Dawn and I weighed the colonies in our apiaries throughout
the year. This was done for a number of years and the results were
very informative, for example, in the summer it showed that the main
flow consistently started on virtually the same date every year (1st
July). In winter it showed how the consumption of stores was directly
related to the weather. Shown below is a graph of the stores consumed
from October to March in a typical year and is typical of all the
measurements made on our colonies. The results are actual and were
obtained by measurements made with a steelyard. The steelyard was
made from a piece of wood and used with two known weights.
Some points of interest from the graph:
1. This particular colony over-wintered on a BS brood box and one
super with no queen excluder. It is very important to remove the
queen excluder; in a very cold snap the metal becomes so cold that
it acts as a barrier between the cluster and the food supply above
2. The colony was fed 8 lb of sugar which is equivalent to 10 lb
of honey. Therefore, the total stores = 40 lb. in October.
3. The starvation line has been drawn in to indicate when the stores
in the colony have reached 10lb. We regard this as the critical point
and if there is no income, the colony may require to be fed. See
the previous article showing how this 10 lb is determined during
the active season.
4. The autumn was warm up to mid November and c. 5 lb of stores were
5. Then the weather was cold (40ºF/4.4ºC and below) up
to Christmas and hardly any stores were used (ounces not lbs). Many
beekeepers find this surprising.
6. Christmas to mid January the weather was warmer (45ºF/7.2ºC
+) and bees were flying on cleansing flights. Stores are being used
(4 lb on the graph from 104 to 100).
7. There was another month of cold weather to mid February and again
hardly any stores are used.
8. Come February when it gets warmer and brood rearing is increasing,
stores are starting to be used very rapidly.
9. From the beginning of March the beekeeper must be alert to possible
stores shortage in his colonies. If the colony has 40 lb of stores
in October we have never experienced the necessity to feed in the
10. The graph demonstrates the nonsense of feeding candy on Christmas
11. Finally, removing the roof alerts the colony, puts up the temperature
of the cluster, shortens the life of the bees and induces them to
use more stores. Similarly, hefting also disturbs the colony as does
tapping the outside of the hive by those clowns who wish to ascertain
whether the bees are still there.
The above was written nearly 30 years ago. Nothing has changed except
my views on the amount of stores required. 40 lb is too much and
leaves the brood chamber clogged up with too much honey restricting
the laying space for the queen in the spring. The colony discussed
in the graph used 20 lb. We use 35 lb these days and in most cases
this is too much but better safe than sorry. I hope the articles
have proved useful. JDY. January 2004.
THE CORDOBA HONEY SHOW
As you have an editor living in Spain, it is appropriate that he
write an article for Apis-UK on one of the most interesting honey
shows in the country. The Cordoba honey show ‘ExpoMiel’ is
held on an annual basis and organised by the Andalucian Centre
for Organic Beekeeping (CAAPE) which is a department of Cordoba
University, together with the main Agricultural Union COAG and
the Ministry of the Environment and Civil Protection. It runs for
4 days, and technical papers and discussions take place on the
last day, a Saturday.
|ExpoMiel exhibition hall
In Moorish times Cordoba was the centre of learning and sophistication
in the known world. With glittering palaces, a university of great
repute and complete religious tolerance, Cordoba grew to become one
of the most beautiful cities on earth.
|The tasting stall
Much of its old splendour is still there and the university is
still one of great repute. So it is with extra pleasure that one
to this beautiful place to a honey exhibition. Held in one of the
old ducal palaces, now the provincial government building, this
is a different type of show to say that of London in that many
sectors of the Cordoban community take part, from unions to bars
and restaurants, to provincial town halls and tourism concerns.
It is also an excellent gathering of honey producers, there to
their wares. Entry is free and therefore immediately attracted
the Cordoba housewife as a place to go for her honey. The honey
were usually crowded with shoppers both buying and tasting the
huge range of honeys available. A honey producer from Aracena,
town was also present with a stall. The provincial government even
had a stall which consisted solely of honey pots containing different
types of honey for free tasting. All served by two smartly dressed
blue uniformed girls.
|The CAAPE stand
Government departments here attach great importance to these types
of exhibitions and the Department of the Environment mounted an
interesting stand aimed at educating both the public and the beekeepers
bee eaters. Interesting leaflets were available explaining the
biology of both bee eater and bee, and other leaflets explaining
investment in research on the requirement for a balance between
the two creatures. Indeed, the bird is classified as of special
in Spanish law.
|Bee eaters a necessary balance
|The honey gastronomy week
The Ministry of Agriculture also had a stall which gave information
on the types of products of the hive and how to use them. The tincture
of propolis described later in this newsletter in the recipe section
is from one of their information leaflets. Other stalls included
the excellent university stand, run of course by young bee research
students (all female), and stands from the various town halls in
the province of Cordoba, all extolling the excellence of their
locations for beekeeping, and in the meantime pushing rural tourism
it was worth. The charming little bar set in the centre of all
the stands sold a fine range of wines and beers at completely un-inflated
prices and was a useful place for meeting people because if you
an unmanned stall, you just went to the bar to find the stall holder
engaged in some obviously essential bee research. The hours of
the show were typically Spanish: from 10 till 2, then the all important
siesta when everyone was kicked out, and a resumption of activities
at 4.30 until 8, or until everyone had gone home, whichever was
So what to do in those several hours of break time? This is where
Cordoba came into its own. Most tapas bars and restaurants in the
town entered into the spirit of the thing and offered menus based
on honey in what was called Honey Gastronomy Week. For instance
Ragout of veal with fresh vegetables with honey, together with
a salad with
a honey and oil of ginger dressing; or the ‘sighs of the caliph
bathed in honey’! or loin of deer with raspberry and honey
sauce, together with a salad with honey vinaigrette with toasted
pine nuts. I could go on and on, but instead you will have to believe
me that the imagination of the chefs knew no bounds. Many of the
dishes came from Moorish times in the first place, the Moors being
great believers in the use of honey in the kitchen. The recipe in
the recipe section in this issue came from one of the restaurants
and is called Grandmother’s Torrijas. Any of these meals
eaten with a glass of finest Moriles wine (a dry sherry type wine
in the province) is worth the visit to Cordoba for itself.
Back to the show. The final day consisted of both the show and
the technical conferences and talks with presentations from speakers
including Marla Spivak from the University of Minnesota and an
on hygienic bees and bee resistance to diseases, and Marc Colin,
a French expert on intoxication and poisoning of bees. The University
of Cordoba scientists gave a presentation on the growth of the
problem of the Small Hive Beetle.
All in all, it was a show of exuberance in all things honey in
which many sectors of the city and province of Cordoba joined in
heartedly. It can only be good publicity for the important beekeeping
industry in Spain, and with Christmas shopping and a good meal
in Seville on the way home, it was a good day out for me and my
This month, Matt Allen, not to be outdone by our poetry section
offers us some poetical insights and somewhere along the line, almost
A Study In Blue
‘The bluebell is the sweetest
That waves in summer air
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care’
Who could disagree with Emily Brontë? I was once working in
some remote woods, surrounded by a lagoon of shimmering blue, and
was recalling one of my earliest memories – a bluebell wood
seen from a bus. (My heartless parents refused my perfectly reasonable
request to buy a tent immediately so we could camp there that very
afternoon!) So it was interesting to hear on the car radio an interesting
piece about the bluebell’s strategy for success.
It’s a bulb that has apparently a feeble root system. It’s
not extensive, and it is incapable or very poor at extracting phosphates
from the soil. (I found this a bit hard to follow.) So it forms a
partnership with up to 15 different species of fungus, which grow
onto the roots of the bluebell and spread for metres around the plant.
The fungus easily absorbs phosphates, which it transports back into
the roots of the bluebell. And where’s the deal? The plant
is working hard through photosynthesis to form sugars, and some of
these sugars are donated to the fungus. A win-win situation.
My garden is swamped with bluebells, probably the Spanish variety,
which are quite invasive. I pricked up my ears a while ago when I
heard a debate on the damage caused to wildflowers, specifically
bluebells, by picking them. One speaker was saying we shouldn’t
pick them, because then the chance of seeding is lost. The quicker
you pick them, the sooner the population disappears. The contrary
view was intriguing. It went something like this:- if you pick off
all the flowers, the plant pours its energies into vegetative growth
instead of sexual reproduction; it multiplies by producing mini bulbs
as offshoots of the parent, and this form of reproduction is more
successful in the short term. Well, well, you take your choice.
You don’t want me to write anything this month about swarming,
do you? I couldn’t add much to what is in the textbook on your
shelf. So bear with me as we meander down a different track. I’m
not much of a poetry buff, but I have been delving into ‘Flora
Poetica’, a book of botanical verse.
‘ Partake as doth
The Rose is an Estate -
In Sicily.’ by Emily Dickinson
Nope, I’m stumped with that. I’m hoping that a bright
reader of the newsletter will let me know what that means. There’s
gloom and cheer in equal parts in this book, and bees are tucked
away here and there. Let me finish with a snippet from
a poem by Norman MacCaig...
‘I buzzed and landed, but,
Encroaching with my loving bumbling fumble,
Found the whole world go black....’
Life’s tough out there. This poem is called ‘Venus Fly-trap’.
POEM OF THE MONTH
This month I am pleased to bring you a poem newly written especially for beekeepers
by the poet Maura Murphy. Maura's website www.poetryalive.co.uk is well worth
a visit and contains a selection of her work both written and in spoken form.
APIS MELLIFERA MELLIFERA
Low winter sunlight
Unobtrusive, among tilea and cretaegus,
this one painted white, for homing.
Audacious, gloved, the beekeeper
hefts it, weighs it, judicious, decides,
a Christmas gift , fondant.
Cause for celebration.
Deep inside a feeding feasting
chamber, workers warmly cluster.
Pollen fed, milk soothed,
the old queen dozes.
A woodpecker jabs a beak,
swoops, lands in branches of robinia
He comes; gauzy veiled apparition,
smoking gun; mischief-maker,
peers down, locates.
Her presence satisfies.
Combs drawn, a new brood
will sustain, suffice.
Ultimate democracy, a new queen
I will be. Grub fed, fat with desire,
workers seal my chamber.
Murmurings whispers rumours
the old queen hears, her retinue
this time twenty thousand strong,
swarms as we speak.
Village gossip points a finger.
The beekeeper summoned, tricks up his sleeve.
Placates, persuades, fine branch cut,
drops home sweetly, boxed, closed, away.
Back seat drivers.
black backed, silk winged.
I rest and feed.
I heard my sisters, sarcophagus bound.
They try to answer, bleat and flap, impotent.
I mete out pure death sting, penetrate wax coffins.
They pipe, they pipe an elegy.
Coaxed and cajoled,
pheromone thoughts translate
fly, fly,’ wings vibrate.
senecio blossom giddy,
high and focused, drones galore!
Mortals blind to this bug eyed coupling,
consorts follow, a royal comet,
to perpetuate, profligate
The first one
falls like the wind.
The next, an aggressive bastard,
I gladly disembowel.
And then an Italian, he was romantic,
fell away, went down,
Bloated, sac heavy, abdomen replete.
Colony assured, I return willing
hostage to future fate.
Time slows, tall grass bends
in dulcet breeze, strobiles of
hang fragrant, figurative, near the fence.
Scouts waggle dance,
distance, direction, clear as a compass,
on target, foragers, single mind across
miles, nectar, pollen,
Basket gifts passed, fanned,
Slivers of wax, to scale,
perfect bee spaced, perfect geometric
honeycomb. Smooth ivory.
This time in white, he returns,
smooth operator, thief, store house robber.
An ill wind blows through the hive.
All is well, content,
warm, honey capped, like wine,
ripens like love.
House girls complain, too many drones,
pointless visitors, sleep and eat and sleep and eat.
Plan hatched, a cradle, for a queen.
Royal jelly nurtured, shapeless grubs
secret metamorphosis, transforms to beauty
She comes, radiant. True daughter.
Take leave, to travel perhaps,
weave in and around yarrow and dock,
among spent flower beds.
To rest finally,
among cracked and fallen leaves,
dreaming of robinia, tilea, cretaegus,senecio
In this section we attempt to bring you each month a tasty and hopefully
unusual recipe using honey as a vital ingredient. In this edition we
also include an apitherapy recipe promulgated by the Spanish Ministry
of Agriculture as a useful home aid and handed out at the Cordoba honey
If any reader knows of recipes from whatever part of the world, please
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
This month we bring you a fine recipe from Spain which for some reason
is called French Toasts. Perhaps they invented them. It comes from
El Rancho Cortesano, a large honey cooperative in Seville province.
Torrijas. (French Toasts). (Eggy bread in English).
Ingredients: Yesterday's bread (Try baguette type continental bread).
1 Egg, Milk, Sweet wine,cinnamon powder, honey, water and olive
oil for deep frying.
Prepare a mixture of beaten egg (to a smooth liquid) together with
the milk in a soup plate, (for dipping the bread in). Add a glass
of sweet wine, (Malaga or Moscatel) and the cinnamon (to taste).
Mix all this up well. Cut the bread into strips and pass each strip
through the mixture, coating the bread. Fry the strips in a good
amount of olive oil until crisp. Heat the honey in a saucepan with
a few drops of water and cover the fried strips in the hot honey
just before you eat them. Eat with a good Malaga wine or Moscatel.
Excellent for breakfast and the sweet wine is less harsh on the stomach
than the customary breakfast anise. (I have tried this and
it is delicious. Ed).
You will note that the quantities that have been given are
a bit vague and the mixture is therefore a matter for experimentation,
but it should be thick enough to be able to cover and stick to the
bread strips. I found that deep frying the things was the best method
and if olive oil is too expensive outside Spain, I’m sure that
a good vegetable oil would do it. Just not as well. Ed.
TINCTURE OF PROPOLIS
A favourite of many home therapists, this recipe comes from the Spanish
Ministry of Agriculture and was handed out on an information sheet
at their stand at the Cordoba honey show, reported on in the articles
section of this issue of Apis-UK. They suggest that it be used
for wound healing, a local anaesthetic and an antiseptic/disinfectant.
They also suggest that to boost the immune system, 15 to 20 drops
of internal use tincture taken in a glass of water together with
15 to 20 drops of tincture of echinacea extract is most effective.
They advise that to obtain clean propolis, the beekeeper should
use a propolis screen in the hive.
For external Application:
1 part clean well ground propolis.
3 parts 96% medicinal alcohol.
Mix well and keep for 10 to 15 days in an amber coloured glass container
or a glass container covered with aluminium foil to protect from
the light. Stir the mixture 3 or 4 times per day. When ready, filter
the mixture well using a double filter. To make one, put some cotton
wool in a funnel and over this, a filter paper (e.g. from a coffee
machine). The filter paper takes out large particles and the cotton
wool the fine particles. Keep the resulting tincture preferably in
an amber coloured glass jar well protected from light.
For internal application:
This is concocted in the same way except that for 1 part of propolis
you use 3 parts of Ethanol absolute. (See above for use).
THE FIGHT AGAINST DISEASES. AFB/EFB UPDATE
This short discourse is not intended to be a comprehensive thesis
on measures to combat AFB and EFB, but a look at some of the newer
methods of fighting these diseases which use nature to fight nature
and not chemicals. The uses of oxytetracycline and irradiation
have been well documented but are now becoming either out dated
or of little practical use to the average beekeeper. Who for instance
has regular access to irradiation plants and increasing numbers
of beekeepers either abhor the idea of using chemical antibiotics
in their hives or (in the case of UK beekeepers) aren’t allowed
to anyway. There appears to be hope however as you will read below,
and if anyone knows of any other new methods being tested or employed
do write in.
Beekeepers have employed many stratagems for both preventing and
curing EFB and EFB, from shaking bees to feeding oxytetracycline
to burning hives and I suspect many other more questionable methods.
In many countries, the appropriate authorities can authorise treatment
for EFB, or often prescribe destruction for colonies exhibiting
signs of AFB. Much of the current policy for dealing with both
diseases is based on research carried out many years ago. Recognising
that treating these diseases using chemical treatments only is
a one way street to nowhere, current research is being directed
towards combating these diseases using either natural methods of
control or selecting for bees tolerant for diseases. The latter
method is being pursued in many countries and is basing selection
primarily on hygienic traits (which may also help in combating
Essentially, colonies are tested to see how swiftly they remove
dead brood. Removal of brood involves two distinct actions; uncapping
the cell and then removing the dead larva. Genetically, two recessive
genes are responsible for these actions but many researchers believe
that there are more factors involved than just 2 genes. Hygienic
behaviour is a complex behaviour and there is no doubt a large
incidence of factors; genetic, social and the environment. However,
research has shown that this ‘hygienic’ behaviour enhances
colony resistance to AFB and also chalkbrood. Colonies bred for
hygienic behaviour displayed this enhanced resistance to a greater
degree than other colonies. Hygienic behaviour is assessed by killing
an area of brood of 100 cells by freezing and then replacing this
dead (and defrosted) brood in the brood chamber. This is inspected
48 hours later and the amount of dead brood removed is counted.
Hygienic behaviour is normally determined if over 95% of the dead
brood has been uncapped and removed in this period. Some scientists
believe that this test should be applied to each colony at least
twice and the colony only deemed hygienic if over 95% of dead brood
is removed within 48 hours both times. The proportion of workers
needed for a hive to express hygienic behaviour can be quite low.
Some research has found that small colonies containing between
15% and 50% hygienic bees were as hygienic when challenged with
large quantities of dead brood as colonies with 100% hygienic bees.
This could be an important factor as the queen mates with up to
20 drones, she need only mate with a proportion of drones carrying
the hygienic gene(s) to give a hygienic colony. By selecting for
this behaviour from hygienic colonies it is hoped that a far greater
resistance to AFB can be expressed. In a study of this behaviour
undertaken in the UK in the years 2000/2001, it was found that
approximately 10% of colonies tested showed hygienic behaviour.
Similar results have been found in the USA. Many researchers believe
that beekeepers could test their own bees and propagate only from
those colonies exhibiting hygienic behaviour.
In some interesting research conducted at Cardiff University, scientists
looked at the reasons for the pathogenicity of Paenibacillus larvae
larvae (which causes AFB) whilst a closely related species, Paenibacillus
larvae pulvifaciens (P.l.p) is harmless. During this research,
they found to their surprise that under lab conditions this P.l.p
inhibited the growth of and destroys both P larvae larva (AFB)
and Melissococcus plutonius (EFB). When fed to honey bees, the
P.l.p appears to have no harmful affects on bees or brood or indeed
the colony as a whole. There are several strains of P.l.p and these
were evaluated. Some were found to be harmful to brood but one
strain was found to be naturally occurring internationally and
harmless to the colony. It is found widely in colonies but not
in sufficient concentration to affect AFB or EFB. In order to do
its good work, it has been shown that P.l.p produces a bacteriocin
(a small protein with specific anti bacterial activity) which lyses
the AFB causal agent, (ie ruptures it). It inhibits the EFB causal
agent due to antibacterial action during its sporulation. In vitro
test results show that the level of control by P.l.p against AFB
and EFB is equal to that shown by the use of oxytetracycline. Field
trials are showing equally encouraging results.
So what is P.l.p? It is a Gram positive spore forming, rod shaped
bacterium very much like P.larvae larvae and is found naturally
occurring in honey bee colonies. There is evidence that it may
be the cause of powdery scale in honey bees but as yet the research
has found scant evidence of this.
Obviously there is the possibility here of providing both a prophylactic
and a cure for EFB and AFB in this line of research. A natural
medicine which could replace chemicals.
After patenting their discovery, Cardiff University collaborated
with the Central Science Laboratory and Vita (Europe) Ltd and won
government funding towards further investigation of this phenomenum.
Support and collaboration also came from the Bee Farmers’ Association
and the British Beekeepers’ Association.
(A conclusion to this with the production of a veterinary medicine
to control foulbrood would be quite something. Ed).
THE USE OF FATTY ACIDS
The antibacterial effect of fatty acids have been a subject of
research for many years and an interesting paper on the subject
was contained in Apidologie in 1993. Current research on the subject
in Australia tested a range of fatty acids against a diverse range
of honey bee bacterial pathogens. Fatty acids are important
in honey bee development, nutrition and reproduction, (9 ODA is
a fatty acid), but it has been shown that they also anti fungal
and antibacterial properties. Fatty acids affect micro organisms
by affecting their lipid membranes or envelopes leading to perturbations
of the lipid phase and subsequent changes in permeability. The
found that both causative agents (of AFB and EFB) are
sensitive to a range of fatty acids. 28 fatty acids were tested
and 15 were found to be active against P;l;larvae and in previous
research, 21 were found to be active. 8 of the fatty acids showed
activity against M pluton and all of these except one showed activity
against P.l.larvae. P.l.larvae isolates from New Zealand and China
shown to have similar sensitivity patterns as did M pluton
isolates from the UK, leading the scientists to assume an equal
sensitivity amongst different isolates. This of course indicates
that if a
fatty acid is considered to be appropriate for use in
honey bee colonies, all strains of the pathogen will be similarly
The researchers believe that the use of fatty acids would best
be suited for the control of EFB. Generally though, fatty acids
would be safe and environmentally sound. They are not only harmless
to man but are actual foods and in the case of unsaturated fatty
are essential for health, but before any such treatment
can be carried out, factors such as the stability of the fatty
acid, the means of carrying it to the bees and appropriate doses
must be determined.
TESTING FOR DISEASE
We can’t leave such a discourse without mentioning the diagnostic
kits developed by the Central Science Laboratory (Pocket Diagnostics)
for the company Vita (Europe) Ltd. The kits, termed lateral flow
devices are based on existing technology owned by the CSL. Essentially
it is an anti body based test for detection of AFB and EFB and
the kits take just 3 minutes to give a result validated to 98%+
accuracy. In essence it is very similar to a pregnancy testing
kit. (Other kits are being developed to test for viruses and to
differentiate bee species) and interestingly, a DNA probe capable
of identifying Africanised honey bee DNA has also been developed.
Currently if a beekeeper suspects AFB or EFB he or she has to take
a sample and send it to the NBU (in the UK) for analysis. A test
kit capable of confirming disease in the field has obvious benefits
enabling bee inspectors to make immediate assessments, resulting
in more efficient and effective disease control and releasing staff
in the laboratory to undertake more research.
(All this is clever stuff and offers effective and efficient ways
to counter bee diseases. As for the kits, I have one and with my
passion for gimmicks (not that it is a gimmick), I can’t
wait to try it out, which means of course that I won’t get
a sniff of AFB or EFB for years. Ed).
Sex and the single bee; French style
Honey bee mating was for centuries a complete mystery to
human observers. This observation is contained within Thomas
Wildman's treatise on the management of bees from 1770 where
he quotes from the Memoirs of the Royal Society of Sciences
‘One would think where multiplication is so honourable,
the mysteries of love should not be very secret; yet how
diligent so ever the naturalists have been in peepig behind
the curtain, they have never discovered the consummation
of nuptial rites: even Mr de Reaumur himself could see no
more than to raise a jealousie, and to give strong suspicions.
Having stood the fiery trial of so many prying eyes in every
age, the bees had gained the character of an inviolable chastity;
but Mr. de Reaumur with learned barbarity, entirely baffled
their reputation; he makes the queen no better than a Messalina,
or to compare her to one of her own dignity, another Cleopatra.
He put a drone and a female bee in private together; the
drone appeared to be very cold and indifferent, and, contrary
to what one would expect, it was the female that made all
the advances, a thousand tender caresses. The experiment
was repeated and varied several times, but always, the like
coldness in the males and the same ardour in the females.
The adventure hath often a tragical end with respect to the
males, they die and one cannot assign any reason for it unless
it be for shame’.
At this point in the text, Thomas Wildman cuts in:
How Mr. de Reaumur escaped having his eyes pulled out by
the ladies of France, I know not, but he saw and has blabbed
secrets of the queen in French, that I would not for the
world translate into English; that philosophers, however,
may not be angry with me for omitting a natural curiosity;
I shall give the substance of what Mr. de Reaumur hath said
in one line of Horace”, Clunibus aut agitavit equum
lasciva supinum.This says a lot about a lot of things
when you really think about it. Ed.
Having read your most recent newsletter, I feel compelled
to respond to John Yates so-called 'article'. He complains
about his local beekeeping newsletter. He complains about
the number of pages, and he gets this wrong, he complains
about the cost - which is the whole cost of the subscription
to the organisation, not just the newsletter and includes
a 5 million pound indemnity insurance. The cost of the newsletter
is about £4.20 out of the subscription of £24.
Comparing this with a sailing magazine from a high street
newsagent? Don't think you are comparing like with like here
I believe he has also mis-interpreted the article about the
refractometer - I am sure I read it to suggest that each
local branch of the organisation think about investing in
such a piece of equipment. He tells the editor of the publication
to get real - perhaps he should adopt another phrase of his
own after complaining about what Santa can get down the chimney
- I feel all John Yates is capable of saying is Bah Humbug!
Stop complaining John, and if you don't like something, put
some effort into changing it by writing for it yourself!
I am sure the editor in question would love to receive articles
from you - the reason I know this is because I know the editor
and I have often heard him saying he would welcome contributions
from others - if the newsletter isn't to your liking, well
you have the opportunity - change it! Yours sincerely Natalie
I am a beekeeper in Canada and I enjoy visiting beekeeping
sites. Is it possible to post on your site that I will gladly
provide a tour of my beeyard and honey house to any visiting
beekeepers. I am located ninety minutes north of Ottawa in
the beautiful Upper Ottawa Valley. Anyone visiting Ottawa
could plan a day trip to our place. Thanks, Ed Gagnon President
Upper Ottawa Valley Beekeepers' Association. firstname.lastname@example.org
Avon Beekeepers Association - Introduction
To Beekeeping. This course aims
to provide the beginner with the information
to start keeping honeybees. As the weather
up in April the bees will start flying in earnest. Students
who have attended will then be in a good position to start
learning the practical side of how to handle bees in the
apiary with a clear understanding of the life cycle of
the honeybee and the year’s work that
The course is to be held at the Millennium Hall in Chew
Magna over three Saturdays February 14th, 21st and 28th 2004.
As an extra bonus, the course includes an invitation to
a lecture by Prof. Frances Ratnieks on 6 March, free entry
to our Spring Day School on 17 April and a hands-on visit
to beehives on 18 April (protective clothing available)
The cost of the course is £30 (Cheques payable to
ABKA). Book early, numbers are limited.
Fees include tea/coffee. There are 3 pubs close by for
lunch or do bring your own. For further information please
contact: Lyn Sykes. Tel: 01225 874035. E-mail: lyn.sykes@
abbeyapiary.fsnet.co.uk. Chew Magna is on the B3130 some
8 miles south of Bristol. Parking is available behind The
Pelican pub and The Millennium Hall is on the opposite
side of the road, close to the
entrance to the churchyard.
DATES FOR YOUR
Event organisers are welcome
to forward dates and details of their events to the editor
(by e-mail) for incorporation on this page.
22-25 February 2004 - Apimondia
Symposium on Tropical Beekeeping: Research and Development
for Pollination and Conservation. We have many interesting
speakers for sessions about pollination of tropical crops (Chairman
Dr. Keith Delaplane), pollination ecology (Dr. Peter Kevan,
chairman) and Conservation of natural pollinators in tropical
ecosystems (Dr. Dan Eisikowitch, chairmen) and many more. On
25 February we are planning technical field visits to a melon
growing farm and tropical greenhouse,
where pollination is with honeybees and stingless bees. (Simultaneous
translation English-Spanish will be provided). For registration,
booking and submission of abstract see on the Apimondia
We look forward to meet you there, this is a unique international
event about pollination in the tropics. Heredia Costa
Rica More detail is available from: Isanchez@una.ac.cr
23-27 February 2004 - 7th Asian
Apicultural Association Conference Los Banos College,
Lagunas, Philippines. More information from: email@example.com
Friday 27 February 2004 - The Sidcup branch of
the Kent Beekeepers Association are hosting
a lecture on the theme of Pyrethroids resistant Varroa
and also about Integrated
Pest Management. It will be presented by Mr Alan Byham,
our new RBI. The time: we meet at 7.30pm, lecture starts
at 8pm, Friday 27 February 2004. The venue: St Lawrence
Community Centre, Hamilton Road, Sidcup, DA15 7HB. The
entrance is free to all beekeepers, from Kent and beyond,
all are very welcome to attend. NB: please do not park
in Hamilton Road, a large public car park is right opposite
St Lawrence RC Church, in the centre of Sidcup, just
off Main Road, A211. R. Repka, Secretary. Ruxley Apiary
Club r.repka @ btinternet.com.
Saturday March 6th 2004 10.0am to
4.0pm - Bucks County Beekeepers Association Annual Seminar, Wendover
Memorial Hall, Wharf Road, Bucks..
10.00 Meet for coffee and registration
10.40 Integrated pest management Richard Ball, Regional bees
Inspector for the South West
11.40 Short Break
11.50 Beekeeping in the future John Hamer of Blackhorse Apiary.
1.00 Ploughman’s lunch with time to chat and get your
bargains from the ‘Bring and Buy’ stall, find out
about Transrural Trust read the posters and more..........
2.15. “Have skep, will travel” Martin Buckle Chairman
of Bucks County BKA.
3.15 Forum A time for questions and discussion with our experts
4.00. Closing remarks
We extend a welcome to all beekeepers and others interested
Cost:- £10 for BBKA members, £11 for non-members
lunch and coffee etc. included To book:- please telephone Sylvia
Chamberlin on 01494522082 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 6th of March 2004 at 3pm - Medway Beekeepers Association are
pleased to present there 2nd Annual Beekeepers Lecture. Dr
Juliet Osbourne of Rothamsted Research will talk
Bees and Bumble Bees utilise the available forage" At
the Medway Council Offices "Presentation Suite" The
Medway Offices are just by Rochester Bridge entry via Knights
Road Strood. Free parking, entry and refreshments. Download
our newsletter [76KB PDF]. Sharon Resner Email: shazresner
Saturday 13th March 2004 Cambridgeshire Beekeepers'
Association One Day Meeting, Dr. Pamela Ewan: "Surviving Bees’ Venom
Allergy", Glyn Davies: "The Bees’ Knees" (some
aspects of bee physiology) Caroline Birchall: "Biological
Control of Varroa Destructor", Dr. Christopher Browning: "The
Many Wonders of Propolis" Trade stand and book stall.
Ticket price: £12. Programme (with map) and tickets,
from Jan. 2004: Dr. D. J. Abson, 6 Ascham Lane Whittlesford,
Cambridge, CB2 4NT (telephone 01223 834 620) S.A.E. appreciated.
Saturday March 27th Newark & Nottinghamshire Beekeeping
Association will be holding their Annual Sale of Bees
and Beekeeping equipment at the Newark & Nottinghamshire
Show ground at the junction of the A1 & A46 commencing
at 2.00pm sharp Item swill be accepted from 8.00pm to 1.30pm. Any
questions please contact Maurice Jordan on 01636 821863.
Saturday 3rd April 2004 - West Sussex
Beekeepers' 'Joy of Beekeeping' Convention - a Celebration
of Bees, Beekeeping and Hive Products
at Brinsbury College, on A29 north of Pulborough. Speakers
include Dr Beulah Cullen, Clive de Bruyn and Margaret Johnson.
Trade Stands. Lunch available in the College Restaurant. From
9.30am until 4pm, a superb day of beekeeping, with tickets £6
in advance (£8 on the day) from Andrew Shelley, Oakfield,
Cox Green, Ridgwick, Horsham RH12 3DD (sae appreciated). Further
information from John Hunt on 01903 815655 or email email@example.com.
24th April 2004 BBKA Spring Convention
and Exhibition Download
HTTP the full 28 page Stoneleigh Programme PDF [2.7MB PDF Acrobat 4.x]
16th April 2005 BBKA Spring Convention and Exhibition
Harrogate and Ripon
BKA Events Listing 2004
(All meetings unless otherwise notified are held in the
Field Classroom at Harlow carr at 7.30pm.
19 Feb. Maintenance of Heather Moors.
March Date TBD. Beekeeping medicines.
23 Apr. Observation Colonies.
23 May. Visit to Chainbridge Honey
6-10 September 2004 - 8th IBRA Conference on
tropical Bees: management and diversity. Ribeiro Preto, Brazil.
21st, 22nd and 23rd October 2004 - The
National Honey Show, RAF
Museum, Hendon, North London. More details soon from http://www.honeyshow.co.uk
June 2004 - Holiday to Denmark. Following
an invitation from Danish Beekeepers, the BBKA is planning a visit
to Denmark for British beekeepers to experience the way
Danish beekeepers keep bees, how they breed them for gentleness,
high honey production, reduced swarming, and good hygiene. We will
also see much innovative modern beekeeping equipment and learn
of the Danish beekeepers approach to honeybee disease and its treatment.
The use of Apistan or Bayvarol is not permitted in Denmark. Each
day there will also be parallel activities arranged for any who
want to shop, or experience some of the local history, flora, and
wild life reserves. For example, there is a nearby museum with
salvaged artefacts from the stranding in 1811 of Nelson’s
flag ship HMS St George at the Battle of Copenhagen, and from the
Battle of, Jutland on 31st May 1916. The BBKA visit follows a successful
tour by the Bee Farmers earlier this year and will cover a similar
schedule of intensive lectures and visits to professional beekeepers.
Beekeeper partners are welcome. You will need to take local currency
(DKr.) Half-board hotel accommodation has been tentatively booked
at the Best Western 4-star Hotel Fjordgaarden in Ringkøbing
from Thursday 24th June to Monday 28th June 2004. The cost will
depend to some extent on numbers but the following provisional
breakdown gives an approximate idea per person. To indicate your
interest, PLEASE ring Raymond or Sylvia Chamberlin on 01494 522082,
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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