|Big crowds of beekeepers at the BBKA Spring Convention
2nd Anniversary Edition
is with pleasure that I write the editorial for the 2nd anniversary
edition of Apis-UK. For two whole years now we have been attempting
to introduce readers to items of interest on bees and beekeeping
that are not usually reported upon by the mainstream UK beekeeping
magazines: research studies, facts and figures, poems and historical
matters and even recipes, as well as keeping readers up to date
on beekeeping events, both national and international. It hasn’t
always been easy, but I believe that we are getting better at
it with each new edition and whilst the newsletter (at least while
I am editor) is not designed to take sides on controversial issues,
or to act as a campaign platform for any group, it welcomes views
from all angles (both personal and professional) it will report
them faithfully, will attempt to explain if necessary and will
allow an intelligent readership to make up their own mind on
apicultural matters. As I do. At the same time, beekeeping has
a rich and diverse history and our Historical Note will (hopefully)
continue to enlighten readers on this aspect of beekeeping and
attempt to remind everyone that the internet is not everything.
However, like the Bomb, GMOs and varroa, it is here and would
be almost impossible to get rid of, so we must make the best
use of it. I hope that Apis-UK is doing just that.
In a month when the UK government gave permission for GM maize
to be grown commercially in the UK and the provider decided
not to because of UK government restrictions, and when The New
Scientist warns of ruin amongst South American farmers using
GM crops, but many of the farmers themselves hail them as life
savers, the media continue to totally confuse the issue in the
minds of the public. Confusion blurs real issues and no one
gains. We report on it below.
There is some fairly depressing (in fact very depressing)
news on the state of species decline in the UK which seems to
indicate something major happening, but better news comes from
spiders' stomachs in some news that will be of interest to all
Magic mushrooms feature in our Historical Note (back to the
60s in my mind), and our poem reminds us of the old custom of ‘telling
the bees’. People still do this you know, not
everything can be explained in books or by science. Our fact
file brings some research into the thorny problem of ‘sell
by dates’ for honey and perhaps will lead to a standard.
Finally, for super (and rare) recipes see our recipe section.
Face masks are our speciality this month! Try the recipes out
and tell us what you think.
Having said ‘see our recipe section’, how can
you do this except by scrolling through the whole newsletter?
Well now you can go straight to where you want to go. I am committed
to improvements and development of the newsletter and we are
gradually making them.
A reader, Brian Hughes (see letters to the Ed), suggested
a contents bar which would enable readers to go straight to
the section of choice and this we have incorporated for your
convenience. We have also started a new section called ‘Research
News’ in which we hope to keep you up to date with interesting
items of apicultural research. The lines between ‘news’ and ‘research
news’ can be a bit blurry (is that a word?) but we will
do our best to separate them. We welcome any ideas which can
improve Apis-UK. Please don’t leave it all up to me or
the webmaster. You can help us enormously with your ideas.
We have more news from Denmark (articles), the USA, Spain,
Argentina and France as well as the UK and we would welcome
news from any other country. Tell us about your beekeeping and
keep us informed. I think that most readers will remember the
famous headlines in a UK newspaper “Heavy Fog in the English
Channel. Continent Isolated”. Well with the internet,
there is no need to be anymore.
So with our usual mix of news,
articles of interest and other apicultural miscellany, I present
the 2nd anniversary issue of Apis-UK for April 2004. I hope
that you enjoy it and that you keep in touch. David
Cramp. Editor. Cover
Photographs by SGT.
WEBSITE IN DENMARK ON VARROA CONTROL
ARGENTINA CREATES A PERMANENT
The Argentinian government has
created a permanent commission to investigate the problem of
illegal residues in Argentinian honey and to attempt to minimise
repercussions in the valuable export market. The aim of the
commission is to 'recover our export situation and give the
necessary guarantees to avoid new problems'. A clear consequence
of the problem of residues is shown by official export figures
which show a reduction in exports of 41% in 2003 and a reduction
in value of exports of 30%. The Argentinians are very anxious
to avoid being in the same situation as China which has its
exports of honey to the EU stopped.
ARGENTINIAN FARMERS HAIL GM SOYA
Recent report in the New Scientist claiming that GM crops were
proving disastrous in South America have now been put into doubt
by a report in the Sunday telegraph in which local farmers of
GM soya say that it has transformed their lives for the better.
One farmer who farms 3200 acres claimed that it was something
of a miracle. Farmers increased their crop yields, managed their
land more easily and that the crop had been of immense benefit
to Argentina 's economy. One authority claimed that it was highly
irresponsible to claim that the soya programme was a disaster
when in fact it was quite the opposite. A study has found that
the huge expansion in the planting of GM soya has helped to increase
rural employment from 700,000 in 1995 to 900,000 in the late 90s
and had made Argentinian farmers 4 billion pounds richer. The
full article with the farmers' comments can be found in the Sunday
Telegraph April 18 2004 . (More confusing
signals about this very difficult subject. Ed).
NEW BIBBA BEE BREEDING TOOL
has now brought out its latest bee breeding tool for beekeepers,
the BIBBA Stud Book. A computer based programme developed by Stephen
Loughborough, the Stud Book uses Excel and so of course users
will have to have this programme. So what does the programme do?
Basically, record cards are created and stored on the computer.
Colony assessments made during inspections are entered on a 'last
visit sheet' and these are automatically transferred to the record
cards when the 'Update Record Cards' option is used. The stud
book works in conjunction these record cards and information stored
in the cards is automatically transferred to the Stud Book if
required. There, the data is sorted so that the best colonies
appear at the top of the list and the worst at the bottom. The
programme and comprehensive instructions can be downloaded free
from the URL: http://www.bibba.co.uk/bibbastudbook.html
FRENCH COURT RULES AGAINST
A French court has recently ruled against
the use of the insecticide 'Regent TS'. The judge, who investigated
abnormal bee mortality in the SW of France made judgement against
the company BASF Agro and has ordered the suspension of sales
of this product. Beekeepers blamed the insecticide for massive
losses of bees in the area. The judgement has revived the possibility
that the ministry of agriculture may ban the use of Gaucho (imidacloprid).
(See news item in last month's edition and letter to the editor
US FARMERS LAMENT LACK OF BEES
Keith Delaplane the well known bee scientist and professor of
entomology at the University of Georgia in the US claims that
there is a pollination deficit throughout most of North America
. Fewer flowers are turning into fruit and this is costing Georgia
's agriculture an estimated 100 million dollars a year, and this
is just in one state. He added that although the disappearance
of wild honey bees was having the biggest impact, many other pollinators;
birds, bats and butterflies for example were also disappearing
because of habitat loss. Bumblebees although excellent pollinators
are not present in sufficient numbers. He gives the example of
the blueberry. Every acre of blueberries contains millions of
flowers and each one has to be visited by a pollinator. Crops
such as squashes and pumpkins are among the hardest hit because
these plants are not that attractive to bees in the first place
and so few pollinators that are around can afford to pick and
choose the best plants with little competition.
A Smithsonian Institute exhibit draws attention
to this problem "Vanishing
Pollinators" depicts bees, moths and other insects that are
in decline. (See further news item below 'Sixth Mass Extinction').
THE WORLD HONEY MARKET. A 2004 GLOBAL TRADE
This is the title of a report created for
strategic planners, executives and import/export managers who
are concerned with the market for natural honey. The authors
contends that with the globalisation of this market, managers
can no longer be content with the local view or with out of
date statistics that appear several years after the fact. Using
methodology based on macroeconomic and trade models, the market
for those countries serving the world market via exports or
imports is estimated for the current year. The report is immensely
detailed in its scope and application and comes from a leading
provider of industry and investment research. More details
CHRISTMAS BEES AND CLIMATE CHANGE
are being called for to record evidence of climate change in Britain
after another winter in which abnormal winter sightings have occurred.
The Woodland Trust and the British Association for the Advancement
of Science have made a nationwide call for volunteers to log abnormally
early sightings of plants and wildlife. The group is citing data
collected over recent months highlighting the impact of warmer
temperatures on indigenous wildlife and use the earliest sighting
of a bumblebee on Christmas Eve in Devon as an example. In recent
years, the first bumblebee sightings were on average two to three
weeks earlier than in the late 70s and early 80s.
BEES THREATEN US AIRFORCE
The USA possess the most powerful military
sevices in the world but even they take bees seriously as this
article from Kim Flottum 's Bee Culture shows. From
Marines OnLine, Story by Lance Cpl. Michael Nease.
THE FEW, THE PROUD, AND CAREFUL AROUND
SWARMS MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz.( March
25, 2004 ) -- Marines may have noticed the pleasant smell of
citrus blossoms as the season begins in the orchards around
the station. Marines aren't the only ones to notice that smell.
Millions of bees depend on those orchards to survive,
and the orchards depend on the bees to pollinate the crop, but
stray swarms of bees put Marines, their families and employees
of the station in danger every year.
Last year, over 90 swarms were reported on station,
and six have been reported already this year as of March 17. Two
of these were in the tails of AV-8B Harriers, and others were
scattered in trees and buildings across the station, said Larry
Reyelts, the station's pest control coordinator.
"We've had them in every place imaginable," said
had them in the cockpits of airplanes. They get in the gear boxes
on the runway, fencelines -- pretty much any place imaginable."
The swarms can be very dangerous if they are disturbed,
especially to people who are allergic, said Mike Barry, a paramedic
with the station fire department.
"If you get stung, you could just have a generalized
swelling and irritation, and that's no medical emergency," said
just because you've never been allergic in the past doesn't mean
the next time you get stung you won't be allergic."
The onslaught of an allergic reaction could be
gradual or fast. People who know they are allergic to bees need
to have an epinephrine pin with them at all times. Other people
should be aware of the symptoms of an allergic reaction, which
are hives, itching, redness of the face and most importantly,
trouble breathing, said Barry.
"All bee swarms are treated as an emergency," said
Patrick Bailey, station assistant fire chief. "We have paramedics
in house so if someone is stung, we can start treatment right
away. That's why we're the first people notified."
If you discover a swarm of bees, call 911 immediately
and keep yourself and others away from them, said Bailey.
"Do not disturb the bees," Bailey warned. "Once
you disturb them, they will attack. Even if they are regular honey
bees, they will normally attack."
There are two types of bees in the Yuma area --
European honey bees and Africanized bees.
Later, settlers in South America brought over African
bees, which are more aggressive, but produce even more honey.
These Africanized bees have since made their way up into the states,
"The big problem with Africanized bees is
that they're very aggressive," said Reyelts. "As much
as 40 percent of the hive might come after you.
"As far as safety goes, the best thing to
do is just stay away from them," he continued. "If you
do get into them, get away quick because you can't tell if they're
European or Africanized bees. They look the same."
Reyelts tries not to kill the bees, but sometimes
there is no other solution. If he can save them, he'll take them
back out to the orchards and release them.
When bees are discovered on station, the first
thing emergency services does is rope off the area with caution
tape. Often the bees will simply be resting and not intending
to establish a hive. These bees will typically leave after a couple
of hours, said Bailey.
If they don't leave on their own, the best time
to remove the bees is at night when the bees are less active and
all together, said Reyelts
"Most of the time it's easier to handle
these swarms at night because they're all in at that point," said
you take a swarm during the day, what happens is you've got the
scouts out and some of the workers - probably a third of the hive
is out. If you remove the swarm, the other bees will come back,
find their queen gone, and become really erratic and dangerous.
Kim Flottum Editor, Bee Culture Magazine.
MASS EXTINCTION OF PLANT, BIRD AND BUTTERFLY SPECIES
Species diversity is decreasing in
the UK. This is the verdict of two new studies of UK flora and
fauna and support the hypothesis that the world is experiencing
a mass extinction on par with the other 5 mass extinctions that
are known to have taken place. The author of one of the reports,
Jeremy Thomas of the Natural Environment Research Council Centre
(NERC) for Ecology and Hydrology at Dorchester , analysed six
surveys covering virtually all of the UKs native plant, bird
and butterfly populations. They found that butterflies fared
particularly badly. In the second report from the Open University
and the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Huntingdon,
nitrogen pollution has been identifies as the most likely reason
for reduced grassland species. These surveys are the most detailed
of their kind in the world.
FLOWERS, BEES AND.....FERNS. ECOLOGICAL
The evolution of the flowering plants and
bees is a well known subject to many beekeepers. The flowers
helped the bees and the bees helped the flowers, but the angiosperm
forests also enabled another organism to develop. A report issued
by the National Science Foundation in the USA has demonstrated that
during the critical period of evolution when the flowering plants
sparked off an increase in diversity of species which included a
parallel evolution of bees, the humble fern took advantage of ecological
niches in the angiosperm forests to develop into a far richer array
of species. The report theorises that the key to the ferns ability
to diversify in the shade of the evolving angiosperm forests, was
the evolution of a low light photoreceptor in the ferns giving ferns
an evolutionary advantage in the low light conditions of the forests.
INSECTICIDES, GMOS AND SPIDERS STOMACHS
beekeepers worried about the use of insecticides, or an increase
in the use of GMOs to reduce the need for chemicals on the land,
comes some reassuring news. Direct from a spider's stomach. In
a Cardiff University report, scientists led by Dr Bill Symonson
in the school of Biosciences (I was there. Ed), have found that
money spiders are vital controllers of pests on farms because
they control aphids, but in order to balance their diet, they
need to eat other pests as well. The research is based on the
use of DNA based techniques to analyse the contents of the spiders'
stomachs. The scientists believe that if we can encourage the
prey of these spiders, it would boost the numbers of spiders and
therefore provide better pest control. Dr Symondson added that "Many
people are surprised at how important such natural predators are
in the control of pests. Even on a conventional farm which uses
chemical pesticides, most pests are controlled by predators most
of the time." (A very reassuring thought.
BEE INSPECTIONS SOUTH EAST ENGLAND
inspector for the South East Area I, and my seasonal colleagues,
would like to feel that you will contact us if you have any concerns
about the health of your bees – if you
are worried, it does not matter if the bees turn out to be healthy.
We never mind visiting and would much rather tell you that you
have no serious problem and give any help or information as
appropriate. As you can see from the figures below, the most Efb
was located in West Sussex and the least in East Sussex, following
the pattern of recent years. We found more Afb last season than
has been usual lately with a total of 14 colonies in the Weybridge/Staines
area and 3 in the Chichester area. Other apiaries in these locations
have been thoroughly checked and so far, the outbreaks appear
to be contained. We will continue to check this season to be
sure of no further problems. When these figures are looked at
against the total number of visits, 706 Apiaries & 3788 colonies
inspected, the foulbrood rates for the South East are approx:
- Efb Apiaries 10.2%
- Efb Colonies 3.9%
- Afb Apiaries 0.9%
- Afb Colonies 0.5%
During last season we looked for Small Hive Beetle in our routine
inspections and targeted some areas that are likely to be high
risk for importation. So far we have found none but it is up
to all beekeepers to keep an eye out for these pests. We have
also been checking for Pyrethroid Resistant Varroa Mites and
again in the South East we have found none but please don’t
feel too relaxed about this. I would be very surprised if we are
not suffering this problem within the next two years. Now is the
time to make plans about the treatment methods you will use when
Bayvarol and Apistan are no longer effective. There are alternative
biological control methods (drone trapping, open mesh floors etc.)
that will go together to make up an integrated control system.
We are fortunate that Apiguard is now a registered product and
can be used instead of Apistan/Bayvarol but beware, nothing is
as effective as these strips and colonies will need to be monitored
regularly for Varroa in order to be able to keep the mites at
low levels. Please check the advice in the CSL leaflet “Managing
Varroa” or for the latest information and the locations
of resistant Varroa check the NBU website on: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com
The team of inspectors remains the same as
- Bob Smith North & East Kent Tel. 01634 721063
- Nick Withers South & West Kent, East Sussex Tel. 01883
- Peter Bowbrick South London, West Surrey Tel. 0208 648
- Alan Byham East Surrey, West Sussex
Tel. 01737 230846 For problems in areas not mentioned, please
contact me, on 01737 230846. We in the South East are also fortunate
to still have the services of James Morton as an inspector (following
his promotion to National Bee Inspector) and he will be carrying
out inspections in the West London area. I am hoping to travel
widely in the South East region this season and look forward
to meeting many of you in the course of the summer. Alan
Byham Regional Bee Inspector, South East Region. Download
full report 138KB PDF
POLLEN IN HONEY USED FOR QUALITY CONTROL
some recent research, Jose Sanchez of the University of Salamanca
in Spain defends the validity of pollen analysis as an efficient
tool for the Quality control of honey as against present trends
to look for substitute analyses. Although there is at present
no legislation in Europe as to the percentage of pollen in
different honeys, he considers that pollen analysis always
defines honey if the content under the microscope reaches 1200
grains. He adds that the general percentage at which a honey
can be considered monofloral is 45% which can rise or fall
according to whether the pollen of the plant is under or over
represented. For example with sunflowers, the honey can be
considered monofloral from 25%, with citrus fruits from 10
to 15%, the same for the labiates and in the case of eucalyptus,
we would be talking values exceeding 80%. Translation by Ruth
Pollen representation in honey can be
a confusing subject. The quantity of pollen in honey will vary
according to the plant species, with some plants contributing
a disproportionately large number of pollen grains. The pollen
of these plants is said to be ‘over represented’.
The pollen of other plants may be scarce in their honey and is
said to be ‘underrepresented’.
Therefore to use a simple percentage analysis of the pollen
in a honey may bear no relation to the nectar floral source.
For example, citrus pollen is under represented and honey is
mainly from citrus nectar if as little as 10 to 20% of the
pollen in the honey is citrus pollen, whereas in order to be
called monofloral chestnut honey, over 90% of the pollen should
be from chestnut. Rosemary, sage, lime, sunflower and certain
lavenders are all examples of under represented pollen honeys.
Results of pollen analysis therefore have to be presented in
an agreed numerical manner and for those interested in following
up this line of study, then ‘Methods of Melissopalynology’ by
the International Commission for Bee Botany provides the agreed
standards. An excellent and easy to read book on the whole
subject is ‘Honey Identification’ by Rex Sawyer.
Cardiff Academic Press. 1988. ISBN 1-871254-00-0.
WASP BRAINS ENLARGE ACCORDING TO THE DEMANDS OF THE
Most beekeepers know that bees undergo dramatic
behavioural changes as they mature - nursing, house cleaning,
guarding, foraging etc, and now scientists have found a species
of social wasp whose brains enlarge as each individual engages
in more complex tasks. A University of Washington associate
professor of psychology, Sean O'Donnell, has found that this
is easily apparent by magnification. He stated that the changes
take place in the sections of the brain called the mushroom
bodies. He and other researchers study social insects such
as bees, wasps and ants as models to understand the role
of neuroplasticity in driving complex behaviours such as
the division of labour. In this research, the wasp Polybia
aequatorialis was studied. These wasps live in colonies of
about 2000 or more and undergo behavioural change as they
age very similar to that of honey bees with the mushroom
bodies progressively increasing in size throughout the sequence.
They found that the biggest increase came when the worker
wasp changed from internal nest duties to external duties
such as foraging, i.e. from living in a constrained spatial
environment in the nest and then changing to a much more
complex sensory environment. He also said that social insects
had relatively larger mushroom bodies than solitary insects.
|A Cross Section
of a Honeybees Brain Photograph taken during the 1999
lecture by Prof. Robert Pickard at the National Honey
(In bees, the mushroom bodies (which are found in all insects)
are a bilaterally symmetrical pair of structures consisting
of 340000 Kenyon cells, deep within the brain. They are implicated
in learning and memory, being responsible for higher order
integration of sensory information and are of vital importance
to memory formation. The Mushroom body receives multiple sensory
inputs and partial or complete ablation of this structure results
in defective olfactory learning. Localised cooling of the mushroom
body induces retrograde amnesia of olfactory learning. A full
and comprehensive review of the honey bee brain can be found
In a useful piece of
research on chalkbrood, Dr Francisco Puerta of the University
of Cordoba (Andalucian Centre of Organic Apiculture) studied
the causes of predisposition towards the disease as well as
in stores of pollen and wax, and tests were carried out using Apimicos
B a product being
sold for the control of the disease. Results have shown that
the product is completely ineffective and the only consequence
it has is the possible appearance of residues in the honey.
He also pointed out that a factor shown to be influential in
the appearance of the disease (in which many factors play a
role), is the misuse of pollen traps, and if on top of this,
pollen reserves are completely removed from the hive, the disease
is rapidly released. Translation by Ruth Christie.
BEESWAX REPLACEMENT IN ORGANIC BEEKEEPING
converting to the organic production of honey have to replace
heavily acaricide contaminated beeswax with residue free wax,
(although if this is not available, concessions
may be made under the regulations in the EU. Ed).
But what about contamination of the hive parts especially the
walls. Could this contaminate new residue free wax bought at
great expense? The Swiss bee research centre has carried out
some research on trial hives heavily contaminated by coumaphos
(perizin) and fluvalinate (Apistan). These hives were cleaned
by either scratching them out, washing with soda, and/or being
flamed. Their results showed that when replacing the beeswax,
it is sufficient to scratch out and flame the hives in order
to avoid renewed, measurable contamination of the new wax.
Hive replacements were not necessary.
BEE PRESS Back to top
Beecraft April 2004 Volume 86 Number 4
Wow! What an issue we have for you this month! I nearly couldn't
fit the contents list into the available space. This is the first
of two bumper 48-page issues planned for 2004. Look out for the
next one in October. http://www.bee-craft.com/ The
following is its contents list:
Editorial; Claire Waring; Swarming Adrian Waring; Swarm Stories
Ann W Harman, Mrs J Rolfe and D J Cook; Seeing Double! M Strudwick;
The Beekeeping Year: April Pam Gregory MA NDB; The "How To" of
Frame Assembly Alan Johnstone; Drone Trapping David Aston PhD NDB;
Why Two? Ann W Harman; An Outstanding Success John Stevens; Collecting
a Wild Colony John White; A Beekeeping Enigma Celia Davis NDB;
The National Bumblebee Nest Survey; Andrew Martin and Juliet Osborne
PhD; In the Apiary: Having Fun with Bees (part 3) Karl Showler;
Apitherapy Peter and Barbara Dalby; Finest beeswax candles? Harry
Riches MD; Building a beekeeper-friendly bee hive Ernest Weston;
Another grave mistake Eric Ward; Beekeeping in Ireland Eddie O
Sullivan; Ask Dr Drone; Around the colony; The 'B'
Kids; Classified advertisements; Calendar.
Number 76 - Spring 2004
Editorial: Starting with this issue, the "BKQ" will incorporate
its sister magazine "Bee Biz". By bringing both these titles
together within one cover, it is our aim to provide beekeepers at
all levels with a larger, wide-ranging journal, with plenty of space
for in-depth articles whether they are of a scientific, practical,
regulatory, literary or historical nature. In the past many beekeepers
have subscribed to both publications and, as editor of both, it has
often been difficult to use a particular article in one journal or
the other, when the material was likely to be of interest to both
sets of readers. Of course, it would have been possible to carry
the same articles in both journals, but I did not feel that this
was a satisfactory solution. For those who have been subscribers
to the BKQ or BB for many years I can assure you that we are retaining
our long-serving team of writers and that within this 'new-look'
magazine our editorial policy remains unchanged. Remember, our writers
put a great deal of effort into producing copy and any feedback from
their articles is of great interest to them. The `Letters' pages
act as a forum for lively debate on subjects raised in the magazine.
Please use it to share your thoughts and ideas with us. John Phipps
Editor of BKQ
Editorial; Newsround; Letters; National Bee Supplies,
Catherine Oates. Organic Beekeeping: Going organic
Part One: A different way of thinking about beekeeping, David Cramp. Environment: Geoff
Hopkinson NDB. Technology: Remote Monitoring of
Honeybee Nucleus Colonies During Wintering Using Infrared Thermography,
Dr Komissar Alexander; Wireless Technology at the Service of Agriculture,
Daniel Baber. Pests And Diseases: Varroa - is there
another way? John Dews. Science: `Bees without
Frontiers' IBRA European Conference, 2002, David Aston. Breeding:
Breeding matters, John Atkinson. Bee Business: E
H Thorne Beehives Ltd, Paul Smith. Races Of Honeybees:
The Breton Black Bee, Job Pichon. In The Apiary:
A simple way of establishing nucs and introducing virgin queens,
David Dawson; Visitors to the hive: The death's head hawk moth. Editor;
Strong colonies in Spring are the basis for succesful honey production,
Maciej Winiarski; A queenbee mating system Norman Rice; Preparing
for spring Cleaning-up operations, Editor. Of other Bees:
Bumblebees and Tomatoes, Matthew Allen. Bookshelf:
Nature Wars, Mark Winston. The Social Biology of Ropalidia marginata,
|New BKQ Look
Online purchase of BKQ subscription £24.00 (1 year 4 issues) http://www.beedata.com/bbq.htm
In this article, John Yates talks
about certain aspects of beehive maintenance. I have asked him to
pen this article because of questions directed to me and because
I have heard much advice on the subject of ‘painting/preserving’ hives
and wanted an expert opinion. Unfortunately creosote is not sold
in Spain as far as I know and when I tried to get some in from Gibraltar
I was not successful.
BRUSSELS DOES IT AGAIN!!!
It is the time of the year when Dawn and
I are changing brood boxes and roofs in our apiaries, the floor boards
were changed a few days ago, rather later this year than usual because
of the inclement weather. So first inspections, queen marking and
changing hive bodies and roofs are all being done at the same time
this year. Its called catch-up beekeeping. After changing the colony
over into a clean brood box the task, ‘back at the ranch’,
is to scrape the old ones clean, repair them if necessary and then
torch them inside and out to kill all the unwanted pathogens. The
final job is to creosote the outside surfaces to preserve them
from future rot.
There are no agreed procedures laid down, to the best of my knowledge,
for the general maintenance and preservation of bee hives. The
only BBKA Examination syllabus that includes such a topic is the
Husbandry Examination. The amount of maintenance required will
depend on how well the hive has been constructed initially. Therefore,
there are three variables to consider, construction, preventive
maintenance and corrective maintenance. Note the use of the word
preventive and not the irregular formation preventative as stated
in my Chamber’s dictionary which has certain other connotations.
No material seems to have surpassed wood for general use and
cedar is the preferred timber as it is durable and light in weight
compared with other hard woods of comparable durability. It is
expensive these days and the soft woods and laminated shuttering
are now in vogue. If laminates are used it is essential to ensure
that the glues used for laminating are waterproof (take a test
piece and boil it for half an hour in water – if delamination
occurs then don’t use it). Practically all hives throughout
the world are built of wood and for the sake of this discussion
I shall ignore other materials, for example, concrete, polystyrene,
Perhaps it may be constructive to start by defining preventive
and corrective maintenance which is applicable to any type of equipment
whether it be, for example, electronic equipment or the simple
bee hive. Preventive maintenance is those procedures/methods/actions
deliberately taken to prevent a breakdown while the equipment is
in normal use. Corrective maintenance is those actions required
to repair the equipment in order to bring it, once again, to a
serviceable state after it has broken down.
There are a few preventive measures to be taken as follows:
a) All wooden hives should be placed on suitable stands to keep
the woodwork away from the ground, preferably on concrete or on
a material impervious to water to minimise rot.
b) All the woodwork both inside and outside should be disinfected
by scorching with a blow lamp to the colour of light straw to kill
all the pathogens affecting the bees and those that cause wet and
dry rot in timber. The scorching by blow lamp or propylene torch
is, in my opinion, the most important part of keeping timber free
c) All the woodwork outside the hive should be treated with a
wood preservative again to prevent rot occurring. How effective
this is when combined with torching or flaming the woodwork I wouldn’t
like to predict.
We always maintain our brood chambers every two years, our floor
boards and entrance blocks every year and our roofs every three
years. Creosote is the cheapest wood preservative and very effective
while other proprietary preservatives are no more effective, more
expensive and a good way of disposing of hard earned income. We
have some equipment that is over 50 years old and still very serviceable;
it originally belonged to Taylors of Welwyn; it has been scorched
and creosoted for more years than I can remember.
The corrective measures that are required
may be summarised as follows:
a) Scraping all equipment clean removing wax and propolis and
polishing the metal runners with fine wire wool.
b) Disinfection by blow lamp to kill disease pathogens. It seems
pointless to fumigate a brood box inside with acetic acid or similar.
It would be difficult to treat the outside without a specially
made fumigation chamber and acetic acid is quite expensive.
c) Any damaged woodwork will require to be repaired to ensure
that everything is once again bee tight.
d) The runners will require to be greased.
e) Finally treat the woodwork outside with preservative again.
All the above refers to single walled hives which should not
be painted with a primer, under-coat and top-coat as it does not
allow the woodwork to ‘breathe’. Painting the outer
lifts of say a WBC hive to make it look pretty is fine but not
a very cost effective way of running the railway. Here it should
be noted that Bro. Adam painted all his single walled hives with
paint but it was a water based paint which did not permanently
seal the wood. Similarly, he painted all his roofs a distinctive
red colour contrasting with the cream or white of the brood boxes.
There is a BBKA Advisory Leaflet “The preservation of beehives
and their ancillary equipment” available which, if I remember
correctly, advocates Cuprinol available in clear or a variety of
colours. It is very expensive compared with creosote. I am of the
opinion, after 50 odd years that creosote is the best wood presevative
that was available; it was used by the old British Post Office,
whose engineering standards were second to none, for soaking their
telephone poles before use. They used enormous tanks of the stuff
and the poles were left soaking for many years. What other soft
wood poles stand in the ground for year after year without rotting
at ground level?
For the record creosote or creasote is obtained by the destructive
distillation of coal-tar and used as a wood preservative. Creosote
distilled from wood-tar is used as an antiseptic. Unfortunately,
creosote has been off the market for about 18 months thanks to
the Euro-crats in Brussels!!! Another banned substance which has
been used for many many years and has caused no one any harm, as
far as I know. Others include the ingredients for Frow mixture,
PDB and many others. You can help the cause by joining UKIP and
voting UKIP in the June elections for MEPs; the United Kingdom
Independence Party is the only organisation dedicated to getting
UK out of this abyss of mindless regulation.
Other wood preservatives include Cuprinol (£3.60/litre),
Ronseal (£1.17/litre) together with a host of other brands
with prices ranging between these two extremes. However, many of
them are animal and plant friendly and therefore unlikely to provide
much protection against wood rot at ground level.
However, I have found “New Formula Creosote” is available
at approx , £ 3 per 4 litres available from local DIY stores
and made by Barrettine Products, St. Ivel Way, Warmley, Bristol
BS30 8TY, telephone 0117 960 0060. It contains dichlofluanid and
looks like creosote and smells like creosote. The price is about
the same as the old creosote but whether it performs as well we
will have to wait a few years to find out. It has dire warnings
about damage to plants on the can, so it looks hopeful.
There is another way of treating hive bodies and that is with
either bees wax or paraffin wax. I have not tried it because wax
contains no other useful qualities except being water-proof. I
do use paraffin wax in all my feeders to prevent any seepage at
the joints; I apply it with an old electric hair drier.
Finally, I consider painting hives in different colours, to prevent
drifting, a complete waste of time and money; hive arrangements
in an apiary is just as effective particularly in blocks of four
facing N, S, E and W. JDY.
do not expect that a patent for a bee hive is granted every day of
the week, however, way back in the ‘Hollow
Tree’ days, I did make an application to the Patent Office,
more in fun than anything else, if only to see what it all entailed.
It becomes quite interesting, and could be quite expensive, but
taken piece by piece, the system caters for the simple minded,
and gradually I began to understand.
For example, you cannot patent
a device concerning perpetual motion,
or anything that is patently obvious; neither can a patent
be granted for something that has previously been published
elsewhere. This I would have thought precluded everything
concerning a box to house bees, but nevertheless we remained
undaunted. With the aid of ‘How to Prepare a UK Patent
Application’ and ‘Patent Protection’ booklets
supplied by the ‘ PO ’ we
continued our quest. Stage 1 concerns ‘Making the application’.
Stage 2 : Preliminary Examination
and Search. Stage 3: First or ‘A’ Publication, and
finally Stage 4: Full ‘Substantive’ Examination.
If you survive the rigors of that lot, you are home and dry,
well almost. Other things must also be taken into consideration.
The ‘ PO ’ may
consider that the application contains information which might
affect the defense of the realm or the safety of the public
and prohibit publication. So far we have only been considering
a UK patent,
what if we feel that our invention should be protected by a European
patent, or depending upon the size of your head, an even greater
area of protection is considered necessary and that the World
Intellectual Property Organization should be brought into play.
Common sense prevails: the object of the exercise was one of
pure amusement, no more and no less, and it still causes me to
smile when I read the claim of Patent Number GB2361616 Entitled “Bee
hive” - I
“First and second dimensional axes in a single
plane” etc etc. There are sufficient axes it that claim
to cut the entire varroa population in half,
twice over. Perhaps that’s where the secret lays. Needless
to say all readers of APIS-UK are exempt from any restrictions
which may be imposed by this patent. A SAE is enclosed for return
of certificate as I wish to frame it and hang it on the wall.
PATENT OF A BEE HIVE 2361616
This invention relates to a Bee Hive.
Bee hives in Great Britain have been infested
with the varroa mite since 1992. Unless treated, the bee colony
dies due to this infestation. Bees
have an inherent ability to groom themselves free of the varroa
mite. In a conventional bee hive this is not apparent
due to the hive entrance being at floor level which allows groomed
varroa mites to regain the colony by attaching themselves
to incoming bees.
A wild bee colony would construct a nest where
the comb would be circular the size of a dinner plate, and a series
of these would be constructed, as placed in
a plate rack. The honey stores would be in the top portion, the
worker brood in the centre, with the drone brood underneath.
Varroa mites prefer to undertake their breeding cycle in drone
brood when available.
The frames in the brood box of a conventional
bee hive are much longer than they are deep which flattens the
nest shape into an ellipse
with the major axis being horizontal. The honey store is now much
closer to the drone brood and in consequence the necessary activity
of the varroa mite during the breeding cycle is much reduced.
According to the present invention the Bee Hive
is constructed to contain conventional size brood frames but rotated
through 90° so that they are much deeper than they are wide
which elongates the nest shape into an ellipse with the major axis
being vertical. This increases the distances that have to be traversed
by the varroa mite during its reproduction cycle which enhances
the period of possible grooming which is sufficient to limit the
varroa population allowing bees and varroa to live harmoniously
together without treatment.
A specific embodiment of the invention will now be described
by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawing in
Figure 1 shows the front and side elevation.
Figure 2 shows the cross section XX
Referring to the drawing the Bee Hive comprises of a
Roof 1 and a Hive Body 2 which stands on a Floor 3. The Hive
Body contains six conventional bee hive brood frames 4 rotated
mounted in parallel. The hive Entrance is positioned at 5 and the
Space 6 is provided above Floor 3.
A bee hive comprising a hive body and at least one brood frame , the body having
first and second dimensional axes in a single plane and the brood frame also
having first and second dimensional axes in a single plane, the first axes
of both the body and the brood frame being greater in length than the second
axes so that when the brood frame is retained in the body the first axes of
both the brood frame and the body are vertical.
In this article, Mathew
Allen tells us why we like bees and beekeeping and how we can
help those who don’t.
PLEASURE AND PAIN
Hedonism, I assert pompously,
is the key to beekeeping (to mutters of dissent, and snores, from
the back row). The honey’s handy,
the wax is a bonus, the odd sting helps to keep arthritis at bay,
but why do we really do it? This is a question I have asked myself
through gritted teeth, as I have lost control of swarm control,
as honey has liberated itself overnight in the name of the people
to cover my kitchen floor, and that piece of beeswax which should
have been a prize-winner turned out to have a speck in it. Well,
of course, we do it for fun. We do it because we like bees, don’t
we? We just like having them around. We like seeing them, we like
hearing them, and I guess we also like smelling them. (Apparently
smell is an aid to identifying solitary bees.) What have we missed
out? Touch … it seems reasonable to me to enjoy the feel
of honeybees. Taste? I draw the line there…
It’s obvious we are all a bit eccentric (‘Speak for
yourself!’ interjects Doris Bonkers.) By now you must have
become accustomed to the reaction from Joe and Joanne Normal when
you let slip you keep bees, allowing a slight drawl to creep into
your voice, unconsciously taking on the mantle of James Dean or
a young Marlon Brando or maybe an edgy Jane Fonda. We’re
on the edge of society, with a hint of the rebel, and a bit dangerous.
My jaw clenches on an imaginary cheroot, as I glance around for
the cuspidor ……. (‘He’s gone too far
this time! I’m going to cancel my subscription.’ ‘Me
too!’ ‘And me.’)
Sorry, my reverie, like my swarms,
got the better of me. What I meant is that we like bees, unlike
probably the majority of the population, who are either indifferent
to them, or actively dislike them. And there are some who don’t
just dislike them, but hate and fear them. At the shop in Windsor,
I would usually receive 200 phone calls each year from people who
looked up bees in the yellow pages, then expected a free counselling
service. The message I tried to put across was that it was an honour
and a privilege to have bees, wasps, ants and any other creepy-crawlies
in the garden and blah blah blah – you can finish it yourself – blah
blah blah. Occasionally however, there was somebody with a real
‘Bring bring’ went the phone last week (Wow! Sound
effects as well!). The mental health team at a big hospital in
Berkshire have a patient with an insect phobia which is ruining
her life. Can we help? Sure. This should be interesting. It involves
repeated and controlled exposure to insects, first from a long
way off, then gradually increasing the contact. The point is not
to produce an insect lover, but someone who doesn’t get hysterical
at the sight of one of our little friends. It occurs to me that
our esteemed and illustrious readership may include someone who
has done this kind of work already, in which case, why not give
me a call and the benefit of your advice. On the other hand, I
don’t suppose anyone has read this far down the page. Ho
hum, that’s life …..
DANISH BEEKEEPING TIPS
Following on from the
article on Danish beekeeping methods in the March issue of Apis-UK,
is some more information and tips from Danish beekeepers.
If your foundation is old, hard and brittle, it is a good idea
to restore it carefully by warming it in say a warming cabinet,
or using greater care, in the sun. This makes it more acceptable
to the bees as it releases the oils, makes it more pliable, and
encourages the bees to make better use of it and not just chew
holes in it.
Most Danes do not use queen excluders, but those who do find
that if they have a single brood box under the excluder, they find
that the bees will not accept new foundation as easily as if they
have a double brood chamber. One way round this if they want to
retain the single brood box is to put a box of deep foundation
frames on top of the brood box and the queen excluder in Spring
when there is a good flow and allow the bees to draw them out.
You shouldn’t lose honey because the bees will move honey
into the supers above this.
The important point in danish beekeepers ideas is that brood
and honey super frames are changed over a 12 to 24 month period
in the interests of hygiene. This ensures against the build up
of disease and the subsequent problems of treating the diseases
with chemicals and antibiotics which is forbidden in Denmark.
OF THE MONTH Back to
'Telling the bees' has for centuries been a custom
amongst European beekeepers. It consists of informing the bees
of the fact of their master's or mistress's death. In doing
so, the teller sometimes also begs the bees to stay and serve
their new master who is often the teller. The custom varies
in the detail and sometimes another tells the bees on behalf
of the new master. The custom was imported to the US from Europe
and the process is admirably described in this poem by a 19th
century New England poet, JG Whittaker.
the same as a month before,
The house and
The barn's brown gable, the vine
by the door,
Nothing changed but the hive
Before them, under the garden
Forward and back
singing the chore-girl small,
Draping each hive
with a shred of black.
Trembling I listened, the summer sun
the chill of snow;
For I knew she was telling
the bees of one
Gone on the journey we all
OF THE MONTH Back to top
In this section we bring you each month a recipe to cure
and one to eat, both based on products from the hive. If readers know
of any of the more unusual recipes, do email us. This month, both recipes
are simple but effective.
Our first recipe this month takes
us back to England in the 1850s where no self respecting family
would end their meal without a nourishing and fortifying pudding.
Old fashioned puddings are rather out of fashion these days but
none the less delicious for that. Puddings took time to make and
a good pudding chef was valuable to the Victorian household. The
pudding below was described as a 'medium or small grained pudding'
in the cook books of the time and it is an example in my mind of
one of the few ways you can eat and actually enjoy semolina (because
there’s not much
of it). You make the pudding as follows.
1 gill milk. (5 fluid ounces or 8 standard tablespoons).
1 oz. semolina.
1 oz. butter.
4 oz honey.
Grated rind of half a lemon.
Half teaspoon of ground ginger.
6 oz. of breadcrumbs.
1oz = 30 grammes.
1 pint = half litre.
Grease a one and a half pint bowl or basin.
Heat the milk. Sprinkle in the semolina; stir well while cooking
for 10 minutes.
Add the butter, honey, lemon rind, ginger, egg
yolks and bread crumbs. Stir briskly.
Whisk the egg whites stiffly
and stir them into the mix.
Turn the mixture in the mould, cover
and steam gently for 1 hour 30 mins.
A POLLEN NIGHT MASK
As our fact file concerned
pollen, our second recipe is a night mask based on pollen. According
to information supplied by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture,
pollen is an important rejuvenator of the skin due to its richness
in B group vitamins and nucleic acids. It has a profound biological
effect and appears to prevent premature ageing of the cells and
stimulates the growth of new skin. All this for a fraction of the
price you pay in the shops. What more could you want? So here is
the night mask.
Half a ripe avocado pear.
1 teaspoon of wheat germ oil.
1 soup spoon of pollen.
Mix/blend the ingredients so that they form a smooth cream. Smooth
over the face and neck. When most of the cream has been absorbed,
remove the excess and leave the rest on the skin overnight.
This cream should be kept in a refridgerator and only for 2 days
at most. In order to extend its shelf life for a couple more days,
you can add 2 drops of essential oil such as lavender or sage.
FACT FILE Back
BEST BEFORE DATES
This month’s Fact File looks at the subject
of 'Best Before' dates for honey. For many beekeepers such a notion appears to
be nonsense. After all, edible honey has been found in the tombs of
the Phaeros having sat there for thousands of years. However, in
many countries of the world (and this year in the UK ) a Best Before
date is a legal requirement on the honey jar. There are various and
differing suggestions as to how long to put; in Spain beekeepers
usually put 2 years down, but advice in the UK appears to be rather
vague. 2 to 5 years suggests one honey jar label producer. So does
honey change such that a Best Before date is required? And if so,
what changes? And what date should be put on jars? Well a study for
the establishment of Best Before dates was carried out by Maria Sancho
of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Burgos in Spain as
part of a programme looking at the identification of the biological
components of honey and the way they change in relation to differing
Sancho carried out studies of: the evolution of contents in water;
the activity of water; electrical activity; pH and types of acidity,
fructose; glucose; praline; HMF content; diastase and invertase and
b-glucosidase. She looked at samples of honey from Burgos and Galicia
and divided the samples up into Type A, non manipulated honey and
then Type B, the same samples after submitting them to a process
of induced granulation in order to homogenise them but without using
heat. Moreover, the pollen spectrum of the honeys was analysed, and
the phosphate acid enzyme together with the ethanol and the glycerine
of the samples were measured in order to understand better the evolution
of some of the parameters taken account of in the honey.
The majority of the honeys were multifloral (88%) and 12% were
monofloral (according to the rules of the International Commission
for Plant Bee Relationships). The two monofloral honeys were clover
The study was quite comprehensive and complex but unfortunately
I have been unable to obtain the associated graphs, but it did come
up with a definite conclusion which may surprise some.
The linear relationship between water content and the activity
of water in all the samples corroborated providing a useful parameter
which could be calculated immediately. The water content in Burgos
honeys remained constant in both A and B honeys whereas that in the
Galician honeys it diminished in A honeys and remained stable in
B honeys. Electrical conductivity and pH remained constant in all
the samples during the period of analysis probably due to the effect
of minera salts. Although the proline content of all the honeys also
suffered few oscillations it was observed that in all samples it
tended to go down with time even though in some instances a small
rise was initially observed followed by the subsequent diminution.
As expected, the free acidity, the total acidity and the HMF content
increased with time whilst diastase and invertase activity diminished.
Variations were observed in Lactic acidity as it constituted an acidity
reserve. The b-glocosidases in general fell being followed by an
increase and later diminution which could be due to the development
of diverse micro organisms having produced this enzyme in the samples.
The average of fructose and glucose decreased with time. If a line
is drawn between the average percentages of fructose in the samples
and time, it was observed that in the B samples in both galician
and Burgos honeys the level of this monosaccharide fell more slowly.
The fall in glucosewas fairly similar in the Burgos honeys although
in the Galician samples the glucose percentage went down more slowly
in the B honeys.
The existence of these linear relationships was confirmed between
the initial data and the values for each period of analysis for free
acidity and total acidity, HMF content, diastase and invertase index,
allowing each parameter to be determined using a simple equation
at any given moment from an initial value.
The decreases in the biological markers diastase and invertase
were less pronounced in all B honeys contrasting with greater increases
in free acidity and HMF in these samples. It was observed that in
the B honeys the ethanol and glycerine contents were generally lower
and the phosphate acid did not increase unlike in the A honeys which
seemed to show less undesirable microbial developments than in the
honeys in which crystallisation had been induced.
The researchers studied all of the graphs relative to the described
parameters and a 'frontier' of twenty months could clearly be seen
as the time during which quality of the honey was maintained. They
therefore proposed this as the most relevant ‘Best Before’ date
for honey. Translation by Ruth Christie.
Should any reader know of any other research on the subject
please let us know here at Apis-UK. Ed.
NOTE Back to top
There are of course many occasions
when bees have to be united and a careless manipulation when attempting
this can easily cause the loss of valuable workers and the loss of
an even more valuable queen. In these days of modern frame hives
and Sunday newspapers, the operation is fairly simple and rapid,
but what of the days of fixed frames and skeps. Well the Rev John
Thorley, a noted apicultural writer in the 1700s gives some advice
here and as you will see, with the aid of the magic mushrooms, it
was all easily done then as well. He precedes his advice with the
caution that before going ahead, the receiving hive must have 20Lbs
of honey so as to be able to sustain itself and the newcomers. He
"The way thus prepared, I must now lead my readers into an
intricate path, to which, I take it for granted, they are perfect
strangers. And Tho' it hath many windings and meanders in it, yet
having travelled it myself so often, and with so much safety and
advantage, I doubt not but to conduct others thro' it to their satisfaction,
provided they diligently observe the following directions.
I am first to inform them what the materials are, and after that
the manner of operation.
The narcotic, or stupefying potion, is only the fume of the fungus
maximus, or larger mushroom commonly known by the name of bunt, puckfist,
or frogcheese; it is as large as or larger than a man's head. I had
one of these brought me the last summer unripe and white, which weighed
some pounds; but when ripe, of a brown colour, turning to powder,
they are exceeding light. Shepherds and herdsmen, etc frequently
find them in the fields, and will supply you with them towards the
latter part of the season.
When you have procured one of these pucks, put it into a large
paper, pressing it down therein to two thirds, or near half the bulk
tying it up very close. Put it into an oven some time after the household
bread is drawn, letting it continue all night. When it will hold
fire, it is fit for your use in the manner following.
With a pair of scissors, cut a piece of the puck, as large as an
hens egg (better at first to have too much than too little) and fix
it to the end of a small stick, slit for that purpose and sharpened
at the other end, which place so that it may hang near the middle
of an empty hive. This hive you must set with the mouth upwards.”
The Rev Thorley goes on to describe his method of operation
and tells us:
'In a minute's time, or a little more, will you
with delight hear them drop like hail into the empty hive'.
After this the uniting can take place and the writer warns
his readers that when the bees are ready for release, trouble may
'But in getting the cloth away, you must use discretion and caution
since they will for some time resent the affront and offensive treatment.
The best time of the year for union is after the young brood are
And later: As to the hour of the day, I would advise young
practitioners to do it early in the afternoon, that by having the
better light, may the better find the queen.
And that is how it was done all those years ago. It all
seems so simple, but I wonder if any beekeepers burning the magic
mushrooms were then unable to unite the bees or decided not to
bother after all and just go to rock concert instead! Ed.
I am an amateur beekeeper with an interest in keeping honey chemical and GM
free, I have a query to put to you re the article on French beekeepers and
Gaucho. Re the article on imidacloprid, I looked this up on the web at this
site http://www.honeycouncil.ca/users/folder.asp?FolderID=1128 and
you will notice the claim that this study was undertaken by the National Institute
of Research Agronomic (INRA) and the Centre for National Scientific Research(CNRS)
within a European framework, to measure the toxic effects of these substances
on the bees. It confirms that "the bees are still exposed to the molecule
of Gaucho, imidacloprid, via pollen of the corn treated with this insecticide ",
writes the agency specializing in agriculture and agrifood. "The news
is significant for bee-keepers, because it could explain why the mortality
of the bees continues, whereas Gaucho is suspended in France for the treatment
of the sunflower since January 1999", continues Agra. Apparently imidacloprid
was suspended in 99 according to this but presumably it has subsequently been re-applied,
if mortality is still occurring, can you enlighten me on this? Also in your
article, France has had to import up to 24000 tons of honey annually.
These facts contrast with the effects of the chemical in the UK
where it is used on beet crops and there are no reports of ill
effects on bees. I have not heard of beet being a honey crop, do
commercial beekeepers use this? I would be most grateful if you could enlighten
me if you could. Sincerely, Chris Clayton.
I have replied to Chris on this subject personally. In
the matter of bees using beet crops, I would suggest that bees
would only go for the pollen if there was little else around
and I assume that that is what the manufacturer is referring
to. I believe that beet crops are mainly wind pollinated. Ed.
The poem "The Diagnosis", reprinted in the March Apis
UK was written by Dr Leslie Bailey of Rothamsted, and published
in his 1986 Central Association of Beekeepers lecture booklet "Bee-Keeping
by numbers", which deals with the effects of colony density
on disease incidence. He introduces it by saying that "My
views of some popular misconceptions in beekeeping are summarised
in the following rhymes". Best wishes, Norman Carreck. Plant & Invertebrate
Ecology Division, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire,
AL5 2JQ, UK. Tel: +44(01582)763133x2695/2769 Fax: +44(01582)760981
Email:email@example.com http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/pie/ Rothamsted Research is a company limited by guarantee, registered
in England under the registration number 2393175 and a not for
profit charity number 802038.
My name is Ian Armstrong and I am a community wildlife officer for Durham County
Council of which I am responsible for the management of a number of local nature
reserves, many of them large in extent in the east of the county.
The principle aim of my role is the sustainable management of the nature reserves
for wildlife conservation and the provision of accessible green space for people
Over the past few years Durham County Council in conjunction with the Durham
Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) has undertaken much work for the restoration and
establishment of magnesian limestone grassland of which County Durham has a considerable
area of this habitat type. Many of the reserves have extensive species rich grasslands
especially on the magnesian limestone escarpment and some are designated as sites
of special scientific interest. The Durham Coastal Grasslands cover 186 hectares
of land reverted from colliery spoil and intensive agriculture to flower/herb
rich grassland. We also have considerable areas inland undergoing arable reversion
to magnesian limestone grassland including old species rich meadows and this
has resulted in many insects, especially bees being present and ever more abundant.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer our land to any of your members
in the Durham area to establish hives for the production of sustainable honey.
This would meet our objectives towards sustainability and nature conservation
and I am sure the hives would yield good quality honey.
If you would like to discuss this or any other query you may have please contact
me and would gladly address your call. Regards Ian Armstrong Community Wildlife
How about inserting a quick jump link in the heading of the news
letter to the article of ones choice. Regards Brian Hughes.
Thanks for the suggestion Brian and I'll have a think
about this one and discuss it with the web master. But surely,
everything in Apis UK is to your choice isn't it ? Rgds David
True, I enjoy reading the whole news letter. However,
I don't always get a chance to read it in one go and sometimes
wish to revisit an item, hence my suggestion. Otherwise one has
to trawl down the whole letter. Regards Brian Hughes.
FOR YOUR DIARY Back to top
Event organisers are welcome
to forward dates and details of their events
to the editor (by e-mail) for incorporation on
Bee Keeping Courses 2004 at Hartpury College for
beginners, intermediate and advanced download full 2004 listing
in PDF Beekeeping
courses at Hartpury College
Harrogate and Ripon
BKA Events Listing
(All meetings unless otherwise notified are held in the
Field Classroom at Harlow carr at 7.30pm.
23rd May 2004. Visit to Chainbridge Honey
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 16th, 17th, 18th
July, 2004 (entries close 9th July) - Kent County Bees and Honey
by the Kent Bee-Keepers’ Association in conjunction with Dover,
Medway and Thanet Beekeepers’ Associations at the Kent County
Showground Detling, Maidstone. Judges: Honey Mr. M. Duffin, Cakes & Wax
Mrs. E.Duffin, Schools Mr. & Mrs. L.Gordon-Sales. Entries Secretary:
Mrs.M.Hill, Old Whittington, Old Wives Lees, Canterbury, CT4 8BH
Tel: 01227 730477. Show Supervisor: Michael Wall 020-8302-7355. Chief
Steward: Sally Hardy 07802763048. Download show
schedules and entry forms from www.kentbee.com
6-10 September 2004 - 8th IBRA Conference on
tropical Bees: management and diversity. Ribeiro Preto, Brazil.
Monday 13th September
2004 - Conwy Honey Fair, High Street, Conwy,
North Wales. 9am
til 4pm. Ancient street fair, founded by King Edward 1st
more than 700 years ago. Stall space is free of charge.
Honey stalls, home produce, crafts, plant stalls welcome.
More than a tonne of local honey is sold by lunchtime. Now
organised by Conwy BKA. Contact
secretary for details: Peter McFadden, tel 01492 650851,
21st, 22nd and 23rd October 2004 - The
National Honey Show, RAF
Museum, Hendon, North London. More details soon from http://www.honeyshow.co.uk
16th April 2005 BBKA Spring Convention and Exhibition
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