|Bromley Beekeepers display at St Christopher’s
School Beckenham (June 2004)
I write this editorial on the longest day whilst watching a flock
of bee eaters make one or two inroads into my newly purchased nucs.
Several correspondents have commented to me on difficulties with
nucs this year. Failure to prosper, queens unable to mate etc;
the problems appear mainly to be due to the weather and indeed
this has badly affected my operation. Instead of new nucs arriving
in early May ready to take advantage of the wealth of Spring flowers,
they have arrived in late June, ready to starve to death in the summer
dearth. As they are small colonies, there may be enough for them
to survive until the Autumn rains. The local beekeepers assure me
that all will be well. We’ll see.
My cork harvest took place with cork cutters starting
work at 6 am and advancing at phenomenal speed, like a swarm of
locusts over my land, closely followed by Gypsy and Crazy, the
two mules and their driver who carry the cut cork from the hills
to the waiting trucks. You may ask why I talk about cork in a bee
magazine, but hives were made of cork in the old days and formed
the basis of the local apicultural traditions of the area. These
hives are still used by some of the old boys who try to sell them
on retirement. They are inefficient and useless compared to modern
hives but are objects of great beauty none the less. The rest of
the cork is sold and the acorns from the cork oak form the basis
of the local ham industry - Jamon de Jabugo. The most expensive
ham in the world. The cork oak prunings provided valuable firewood
and with this and pigs and honey, the smallholder survived and
prospered. Some time ago I wrote an article for a UK beekeeping
newsletter edited by Bob Ogden on these cork hives so if you want
to know more I’ll
ask the editor to send me a copy and reproduce it here. (Any chance
of a copy Bob?). I am also pleased that the poem this month celebrates
the oak tree.
I was always determined that one day I would write an issue of
Apis-UK without mentioning GMOs or transgenic plants etc, but whenever
I try this, up they pop demanding the attention of beekeepers who
are naturally concerned by this confusing subject. GMOs are good.
They are bad. They won’t make any difference. They will feed
the world. They are an irrelevance because there are more efficient
alternatives. They will destroy mankind, Frankenstein’s...
and so it goes on. I have read cogent arguments supporting each
of these statements and have written some myself and in this issue
we bring both good and bad news on the subject thus further muddying
the muddy waters in an attempt to bring clarity to the situation,
or at least keep you up to date on the subject. Crop genes can
spread rapidly despite containment it seems and in a truly excellent
edition of Bee World (IBRA), we hear that so far, GMO pollen will
not harm bees. (See ‘In the Press’ below).
Earlier in the editorial I mentioned the beautiful bee eater
birds, and some time ago an aquaintance, knowing my love hate relationship
with these fascinating birds, was kind enough to send me a set
of stamps from various countries depicting them. Phlately of course
can be an absorbing sub hobby within beekeeping with many beekeepers
involved in the interesting and extremely educational pastime of
topical stamp collecting. In the August edition I intend to feature
this aspect of beekeeping philately, so if anyone can share their
knowledge on the subject with Apis-UK, please do.
In this issue, we bring you our usual mix of subjects which I
know will be of interest to progressive beekeepers, and also a
new section entitled ‘Quote of the month’.
This isn’t a quote uttered this month but one by some eminent
bee master or mistress of the past. It will be a true test of your
overall beekeeping knowledge and all you have to do is decide who
it is and what he or she was referring to, and write in with your
answer. The answer will appear the following month with a short
biography of the person and a fact file outlining our current knowledge
of the subject being talked about.
There is an opportunity below (See News) to get involved in some
original research, and it is open to all beekeepers. The NBU are
launching a survey on viruses using the TaqMan analysis process
(see Fact File), and they need your help. So don’t hang back
and moan about the system not doing anything for you; get involved.
It’s interesting and useful.
Elsewhere, we report on bee spies, sick males, rampant crop genes,
and observation hives amongst other subjects and of course we hear
some good advice from the past in the Historical Note. Varroa is
of course mentioned with a summary of the use of thymol in olive
oil, and the use of food grade mineral oil to combat the beast.
And Pudding 2 hits the screen in the recipe section.
As usual it has been a nail bitingly close thing getting this
issue out on time, but we hope that you enjoy it and come back
for more. Remember that if there are any subjects related to beekeeping
that you want dealt with, just let us know.
Cramp. Editor. Cover
Photograph by Robin Spon-smith Bromley
TAKE PART IN SOME ORIGINAL RESEARCH
are launching an investigation into the occurrence of viruses
in honeybee colonies throughout England and Wales using a novel
method for virus detection called TaqMan. They aim to survey
honey bees from all around this large geographical area, and
would like beekeepers to help by taking samples of adult bees,
then sending them to the NBU.
What is the purpose?
There are really two
aims to the experiment. The first is to use the technology to
see if it is a valid method for virus detection. It has worked
on pure viruses and on virus-infected bees, but we would like
more data from real samples. The second aim is to try to determine
which viruses are present in the British Isles. Initially,
we will be looking for a small number of viruses, but eventually
we would like to use this method to answer research-driven questions,
but we need to establish that the method works first.
What is involved?
The procedure is very simple.
You are provided with a small plastic bottle containing a small
volume of 70% alcohol. All you need to do is scoop between 10-20
bees into the bottle, then send it to the NBU. There is also
a short form to fill in.
Will I get to know the results?
for each beekeeper will be sent to them, so they know which
viruses were present in the sample submitted. Any feedback
will include which viruses were tested for and whether they
present or not. However, due to the nature of the experiment,
you may not receive the results for a few months, but you will
be told what we find.
If there is a positive result,
does this mean my bees might be subject to disease controls?
No. None of
the viruses are currently notifiable, so there are no statutory
controls. Your bees will only be tested for the viruses, not
for any other disorders.
I would like to be involved.
What do I do now?
you need to do is notify the NBU that you would like to take
part in the experiment. Just send an
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, address and
NBU identification number (if known). You will be sent a sampling
bottle (or more if requested), a form and full instructions. If
you have any questions, just contact us at the same address.
So what is TaqMan? The
process is described in our short Fact File.
VIRAL DISEASES OF APICULTURE STUDIED IN MADRID
similar research (see above), the Complutense University of
Madrid is carrying out studies into the characterisation of
the principle viruses affecting Apis mellifera. They too regard
the PCR diagnostic technique (See fact file) as being the most
suitable for this type of study as they regard it as rapid,
specific and sensitive. They hope to develop and refine the
technique for the diagnosis of bee viruses. Raquel martin of
the veterinary faculty of the university stated that in 2003,
they identified an iridovirus which had formerly only been identified
in Apis cerana and which coincided with a high death rate in
some colonies and which they attributed to this virus.
The faculty is also carrying out research into the immune
responses of bees to disease and whether the effects observed
in the immune system of bees are similar to those which have
been described in other insects. (Trans by Ruth Christie).
KILLER BEE KILLERS
Did you know that certain
bee species send out spies to eavesdrop on their neighbours
before invading their territory and stealing their food resource.
US and Brazilian scientists studied the interactions between
two species of Brazilin stingless bees; Trigona spinipes an
agressive bee, and Melipona rufiventris. They show that bees are
adept at the art of espionage, sniffing out chemical markers left
by rival species and seizing the source for themselves. Having
found the source, they will then summon reinforcements which arrive
to chase off or kill their rivals. They manage this within ten
minutes of the reinforcements arriving. The Trigona bees are so
aggressive that they will even attack and drive off Africanised
(killer) bees and birds. The researchers noted that when they
were taking over food sources from the melipona bees, Trigona
spinipes would use a range of forms of aggression, from threats,
to intense grappling, to decapitation. The aim of the study which
was reported in the June 16 Journal of Proceedings of the Royal
Society, was to find out if bees of one species would or could
follow the scent markers of other bee species. They found that
the more placid melipona bees preferred to follow their own markers
and avoided those of aggressive species, whereas T. spinipes preferred
to follow the markers of M. rufventris and then drive it off the
IBRA ONLINE JOURNALS
The IBRA web pages are
being expanded and developed and you will have no doubt seen
the new IBRA Online Bookshop. The next stage of the development
will be to move the online journals, Bee World and the JAR from
Ingenta.com to the IBRA web site. This should be accomplished
by July. The director points out however that the contract with
Ingenta finishes in June so there may be a short interruption
in the service.. Initially only the most recent journals will
be available as it will take some time to transfer all the back
issues. The IBRA web pages are available at www.ibra.org.uk
OXALIC ACID MRL
The European Commission has
recently published Regulation (EC) 546/2004 24 March to modify
annexes I, II and III of the regulations which establish minimum
residue levels of veterinary medicines in foods of animal origin,
with the aim of including oxalic acid. No MRL was indicated
but of course it now allows the use of oxalic acid in the regulations.
Determination of MRLs is an expensive business costing about
100,000 euros or 70,000 pounds sterling. The work was pushed
by the European working group on integrated control of varroa
which itself has no funds. It therefore invited/cajoled/persuaded
member countries to contribute an amount relative to the number
of beehives in the country. Austria , Belgium , Denmark , Finland
, France , Germany , Italy , Holland and Sweden united to finance
the project whilst the UK , Spain , Greece , Luxemburg and Portugal
did not respond to requests for finance, and according to the
working group, they couldn’t find anyone to contact in
(Strange this, because all of these countries have
members on the working group. A future Fact File will deal
with the subject of MRLs. Ed).
HEAVY WILD HIVE YIELD
Following an attack
on four 13 year old boys by thousands of bees in the USA last
week, a pest controller was able to remove 150 llb of honey
from a wild hive. The nest was contained in a wooden spool used
for cable wire. The bees were driven off the boys by a neighbour
using a garden hose.
NICE TO SEE
In an article entitled 'Unbeelievable'
the June 14th issue of the Daily Mail details a new book by
the food writer Hattie Ellis on the life of the honey bee colony.
Most beekeepers will know of the facts about bees contained
in this book but it is interesting all the same and of course
will inform non beekeepers of the ways of the bee. I was attracted
to beekeeping in this way, after I had read a book by Karl Von
Frisch. Hattie Ellis's book is called 'Sweetness & Light:
The Mysterious History Of The Honey Bee and will be published
by Sceptre on July 5.
THE WESLACO HONEY BEE RESEARCH LAB LOSES A LEADING
Patti Elzen, Research Entomologist at the USDA Weslaco, TX Honey
Bee Research Lab, passed away unexpectedly on June 5, 2004 .
A memorial service was held on June 10. Dr. Elzen was involved
in a wide variety of research projects ranging from Small Hive
Beetle, AFB, Varroa and other pests, all from a sustainable
agriculture and IPM perspective. Her work in Florida , with
James Baxter and others on Small Hive Beetle led to most of
the current knowledge U.S. beekeepers have on this newest pest.
Dr. Elzen received her BS at University of Florida at Gainsville;
her Masters at Texas A&M and her PhD at LSU.
She had been at the Bee Lab since 1996. Kim Flottum
I didn't know this scientist but I have heard of her. It is
always sad when someone dedicated to our craft and science
passes on and I hope that her good work is continued in the
USA . Ed.
BRITISH BEE SCIENTIST DIES
For those who don't already know, Professor
Len Heath died in January. His full obituary can be read in Bee World or other
bee keeping magazines, but I remember Professor Heath as one
of the finest lecturers I have ever had the privilege of listening
to. He gave us several lectures on Chalk brood disease whilst
I was studying at the Bee Research Unit at Cardiff . He was
a globally acknowledged expert at his subject and was able to
impart his knowledge effortlessly and interestingly and I'm
sure must have been an inspiration to many hundreds of biology
students. I once asked him how one became an eminent professor
and someone who was asked by universities all over the world
to give talks. He replied, "That's easy. You just choose
something obscure that no one else is interested in, study it
to the nth degree and there you are. A professor." I was
very sad to hear of his death. Ed.
OBITUARY JOYCE JONES
Joyce Jones, the veil
designer and maker died after a long illness on Thursday 17th
June 2004. She will be remembered fondly throughout the world
by the many beekeepers who wear the Joyce Jones Bee Jacket. All
at the Quarterly and Apis-UK extend our condolences to Philip
and his family who are to continue the production of the veils.
Picture shows Joyce is on the left in happier times at Stoneleigh. J.
UK BUMBLE BEE SURVEY
PYRETHROID RESISTANCE FOUND IN KENT
Norman Carreck of Rothamsted Research is asking for volunteers
to survey their gardens and countryside looking for bumble bee
nests during the remainder of June or the first week in July.
It should only take an hour or so. All information is on our
The NBU has recently confirmed a new outbreak of pyrethroid
resista varroa near Sandwich in Kent - the first found in
the South East Region. This arose as a result of routine
surveillance for pyrethroid resistance by CSL bee inspectors.
Field testing initially found signs of resistance in a single
apiary where unusually large numbers of varroa mites were
present despite recent treatment with pyrethroid strips.
The presence of resistance was confirmed by subsequent testing
of mites from the same apiary at the NBU laboratory. Following
this discovery bee inspectors have carried out further tests
in the same area and these have revealed the presence of
resistance in two further apiaries. There is no known link
between the affected apiaries and outbreaks of resistance
in the South West or elsewhere.
So far resistance surveillance elsewhere in Kent
has shown normal susceptibility of varroa to pyrethroids. However,
we will be carrying out further resistance testing over the
next few months to attempt to establish the scale of the new
outbreak. This development makes it essential that beekeepers
in or near to the affected area should now start to look for
signs of resistance in their own colonies. Further details on
resistance testing and management are available from the National
Bee Unit website: www.nationalbeeunit.com
from Alan Byham, South East Regional Bee Inspector Tel: 01737
230846 Email: a.byham @ csl.gov.uk. If you have any questions
or comments please feel free to get in touch. James Morton National
Bee Inspector, Central Science Laboratory - National Bee Unit
Tel/fax: 020 8571 6450 Mobile: 07719 924 418 E-mail: j.morton
MALE SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISEASE. DOES THIS PLAY
A ROLE IN THE EVOLUTION OF INSECT SOCIETIES?
In a piece
of research published last month in the Proceedings Biological
Sciences of the Royal Society, two US scientists at the University
of Washington and the University of Illinoise have proposed
a new model for behavioural development among social insects
such as bees. This 'sick male' theory may affect such behaviours
as the division of labour between males and females and the
relative isolation of experienced by males in many insect societies.
The researchers looked at the hymenoptera which have a highly
complicated societies and an unusual genetic make up. Most beekeepers
will know that the females, like most animals including humans
are diploid and have two sets of chromosomes, one from each
parent. Drones however are haploid having only one set of chromosomes.
Diseases and infections are powerful and ongoing forces in
natural selection say the researchers, and natural selection
should favour individuals that possess forms of genes or alleles
that make them more resistant to infection. They give the example
of different forms of a blood gene in humans that can provide
resistance to malaria. People with two different alleles for
this gene are more resistant.
Because they are haploid though, hymenopteran males can't
have alternate forms of any gene thus having no genetic variability.
This say the scientists put them at a higher susceptibility
They further suggest that this vulnerability has shaped certain
behaviours in social insect colonies with division of labour
being a prime example. Females vastly outnumber males and do
most of the work. Males do little or no work, don't forage for
food or building materials and do little which would expose
them to pathogens.
The sick male theory proposes that female biased societies
and differences in male and female behaviour may be responses
to higher risks of infection in males.
GENETIC BARRIER TO SELF POLLINATION
Inbreeding in certain plants is prevented
by a process called self incompatibility in which pollination
fails if the pollen is identified as its own by the pistil.
There has always been a gap in our knowledge about how this
process works, but now, a research team in the USA has identified
a gene of petunias that controls pollen function in self incompatibility.
Ten years ago, the same team identified the gene controlling
the self incompatibility function of the pistil, but the male
component turned out to be much more elusive.
CROP GENES CAN SPREAD FAST TO THE WILD DESPITE CONFINEMENT
is unlikely that farmers will stop planting crops containing
genes from other organisms and with this certainty in mind,
researchers have started to develop strategies that trap these
genes in order to reduce the risk that they will spread to their
wild relatives. A new investigation by scientists at the university
of Wisconsin-Madison and the university of Minnesota-St Paul
shows that these containment strategies can fail.
There are various strategies employed for preventing 'transgene
escape' but the scientists have shown that for each strategy
there is in fact a possibility of escape and the question really
is not whether transgene escape will occur but how long it will
take, and this question formed the basis of the research. A
mathematical model has been developed based on factors controlling
gene flow from crop plants to wild relatives and these factors
include the rate of transgene leakage, the rate of pollen flow,
the size of the wild population and the effects of the transgene
under wild conditions.
Findings from the model show that even when the average time
taken for escape is as long as 100 growing seasons, it can occur
much sooner regardless of the containment strategy. Also, the
situation is worsened when the transgenic crop is planted out
on more than 1 field (which is likely). It could be on 100 fields
thus hugely increasing the risk of escape.
One of the key messages in of the research paper published
in the March issue of Ecology Letters, is that scientists will
have to develop containment strategies with the smallest possible
leakage rate to minimise risks and that researchers should evaluate
the true effectiveness of gene containment strategies on specific
HOW PLANTS CAN HELP BEEKEEPERS
used to reduce the amount of pesticides used on plants is good
news for beekeepers and research now shows that plants themselves
may be showing us that natural predators can be an effective
method. Physically damaged plants or chewed plants produce a
volatile chemical that may serve as a primer to prepare nearby
plants to defend them against insect attack. These first chemicals
released are green leafy volatiles (GLV) with the scent of new
mown grass, or crushed leaves. These are highly volatile and
appear immediately so they are good candidates to prepare other
plants to defend themselves.
Studying maize plants, researchers have found that exposure
to GLV primed the maize defences to respond more strongly against
subsequent attack by herbivorous insects by increasing jasmonic
acid biosynthesis and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Jasmonic
acid is a plant hormone that turns on plant defences including
VOCs which are chemicals that attract parasites and predators
of the attacking insect. They say that the GLV acts like a vaccine,
preparing the plant's defence mechanism but not winding it up
to full strength. If the plant is not subsequently attacked
then it does not waste energy producing defences. If however
it is attacked the response is more rapid and stronger. This
response is to produce VOCs that attract predators of the attacking
plant and it has been shown in maize plants that a damaged plant
will produce GLVs, but then if the damaged part is rubbed with
caterpillar spit (beet army worm - a pest of maize), an enhanced
response attracting wasps and other predators occurs.
Using these naturally produced chemicals may have potential
for more natural pest control in crops which would be of great
benefit to bee keepers and of course to soil health.
The full report on this interesting research can be found
in the January edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy
GM CROPS AND HONEY BEE HEALTH
have been worried about whether bees collecting pollen or honey
from GM plants would themselves come to any harm, in particular
the possibility that antibiotic resistance genes in GM plants
may move to bacteria in the environment with serious consequences
for control of bacterial diseases of humans and animals including
bees. Well here at least is some good news. In an excellent
article in Bee World, (IBRA), the author, Louise Malone, concludes
that evidence available so far shows that none of the GM plants
currently commercially available have significant impacts on
honey bee health. Regulators in many countries are aware of
the importance of honey bees and will continue to demand information
on potential impacts on these insects before new GM plant varieties
BEE PRESS Back to top
Beecraft June 2004 Volume 86 Number 6
Claire Waring Editor. www.bee-craft.com
following is its contents list: Controlling European foul brood
Chris Barker, Mike Brown and Ruth Waite, PhD; The beekeeping
year: June Pam Gregory, MSc, NDB; BBKA Stoneleigh 2004;
The black pimpernel Karen Guthrie; Beekeeping and back
injuries Chris Wansbury; The Honey Regulations 2003 Peter
Martin; Small and perfectly formed (part 2) Celia Davis,
NDB; Memories of smokers J Withrington; In the Apiary:
having fun with bees (part 5); Setting up an Association
website Linda Carey; Letters to the Editor; Around the
colony; The 'B' Kids; Classified advertisements; Calendar.
Cover Picture: Michael Young's smoker
carved from ice with a chainsaw at the BBKA Spring Convention
(photo: Steven Turner)
BEES FOR DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL
One years subscription (four issues) UK£20 or download only subscription
UK£18 which includes back issues. June 2004 No.71 issue has the following
contents: Inside information; Silent spring in Northern Europe; 7th AAA Conference;
Readers letters; Notice Board; Zoom in on Syria; News from Namibia; News around
the World; Project news from ICIMOD; Book Shelf; Look and Learn Ahead. Cover
picture © Bees for Development.
The Chon Family and The University of the Philippines, Los Banos' Bee Program's
display explaining the value of bees at the AAA Conference held in February. http://www.beesfordevelopment.org and
now in Spanish URL: http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/spanish
The latest issue of Bee World is a Must
beekeepers. This second edition in the new A4 glossy format, it
includes several articles of great interest. With the NBU carrying
out the virus survey, taqman probes to the fore and Madrid University
also looking at this subject, the guest editorial written by
Brenda Ball of Rothamsted sums up in an article entitled 'The
trouble with Viruses'. It informs us of viral survival strategies,
how they work, what they are, where they are going and how they
affect us as beekeepers. (The article also confirmed in my mind
that the plural of virus is viruses. I was never sure of that.
Varroa and its spread and affects in New Zealand
are detailed and the potential effects of GM crops on honey
bee health are written up in an extremely interesting article. Also,
Why is France banning certain pesticides? Read why in this
issue which to my mind is truly excellent. The new more reader friendly
format has certainly changed Bee World and I'm sure should
be on the reading list of all beekeepers. www.ibra.org.uk
The first reference I have
found to observation hives occurs in Samuel Pepys's Diary in 1665
which states, "After dinner to
Mr. Evelyn's; he being abroad, we walked in his garden, and a lovely
noble ground hath he indeed. And among other rarities, a hive of
bees, so as being hived in glass, you may see the bees making their
honey and combs mighty pleasantly". Maraldi had an observation
at the French Royal Observatory as early as 1687 and Huber's leaf
hive (so called because the frames were hinged down one edge and
opened like a book) appears about a century later. Herrod-Hempsall,
who was paranoid about all things British, claimed that the first
observation hive was made by an Englishman, Robert Boyle, in 1688.
Here he might well have been not quite accurate, as he always claimed
he was, noting the date of the entry in Pepys's Diary! From the
middle 1800s observation hives were extremely fashionable with
the gentry and hive makers, such as Nutt and Neighbour, produced
very ornate designs.
It will be clear from the above that observation hives have been
around for a long time yet have received little attention in the
classical bee literature. The best dissertation that I have found
is contained in "Beekeeping New and Old described by pen and
camera" by Herrod-Hempsall where he even gives detailed plans.
Types of observation hive
The objective of all observation hives is to be able to study the
working bees without undue disturbance to the colony and with minimum
risk to the observer. To do this, invariably glass is used to form
part of the hive, which is generally located in a room of a building
with an entrance tube to the outside allowing the bees to fly in
a normal manner. Many types of hive have been modified embodying
glass panels in the sides, bottom and as crown boards, but such modifications
are of very limited use for observation purposes. Generally, in such
cases only the ends of the frames are visible in two planes and the
face of the 2 outside combs in the other plane. For this reason modern
observation hives are now only 1 frame in width and 1 or 2 frames
high. It will be this type that I address in the following paragraphs
in connection with setting up such a hive and managing it throughout
a season. Great care is needed in the construction and the specification
for such a hive is very stringent as follows:
a) The internal dimension between the glass facing panels must be
the width of the comb (2 ( 7/16 inches) plus a bee space (5/16 inch)
on either side, ie. between the face of the comb and the inside glass
surface. It should be noted that for some purposes there are advantages
in making one side with a gap of two bee spaces (5/8 inch) thereby
encouraging the bees to build comb in this area.
b) Provision must be made to suspend the frames(s) in the hive on
knife edge supports to make them easy to remove at a later date while
ensuring that the bee space requirement is observed adjacent to the
side bars of the frames. If two frames are used the distance between
the top bar of the lower frame and the bottom bars of the upper frame
must also be a bee space.
c) There must be a bee space above the top bar of the upper frame.
d) There is advantage in leaving a space of 2 or 3 inches at the
bottom below the lower frame to allow debris to be examined and to
make provision for the entrance. Also, it is advantageous to have
the bottom made of stainless steel mesh to allow debris (and mites)
to fall through into a removable drawer for detailed examination,
rather like the drawer of a pollen trap.
e) The construction is generally in wood with glass panels on each
side. In this day and age the panels are best in double glazed units
which can be purchased very cheaply from the double glazing merchants
(ie. those panels made up to an incorrect size).
f) Whatever opening arrangement is designed for stocking the hive
with bees and frames it must be closed finally with screws put in
with a screwdriver. The reason is obvious; someone somewhere will
open it while stocked with bees unless it is securely closed preventing
it being opened except by using hand tools. Please note schools,
shows, etc. where the general public have access.
g) Provision must be made for an entrance that can be closed for
transportation and capable of having an entrance tube attached. Again
it must be made secure with a 'jubilee clip' firmly fixed with a
screwdriver. The entrance is best located at the bottom of the hive
through the centre swivel if the hive is a rotatable one or at the
bottom of one of the sides if it is a fixed arrangement. The bottom
entrance makes it easier for the bees to remove debris and dead bees.
h) The entrance tube requires to be no less than 1 inch inside diameter
in clear polythene so that the inside can be observed. If condensation
in this entrance tube is a problem small holes can be drilled along
its length on the underside; if it is installed correctly with a
downward slope from the hive this should not be necessary.
i) Good ventilation is essential and the best start is with the
mesh floor. A mesh top will suffice providing adequate through ventilation.
It is a good precaution to be able to blank off some of the ventilation
vents as required by the population of the hive and the ambient temperature.
j) Provision must be made for feeding the little colony and an inbuilt
mini Ashforth feeder is well worth incorporating at the top of the
hive. Again please note the requirement for making it tamper-proof
against idle fingers either at school or elsewhere. The feeder makes
provision for feeding syrup but we believe provision should be made
also for feeding pollen patties (see later).
k) In a permanent installation an arrangement should be incorporated
at the outer end of the entrance tube to prevent driving rain from
entering the tube. An arrangement rather like a 'Dorade Ventilator'
used on boats is ideal, letting in the air and keeping out the water.
The downward slope of a few degrees ensures that rain does not flow
back into the hive.
l) The only other item, which is optional, is a piece of queen excluder
between the two frames. We believe this to be an unnecessary complication
and can be omitted as it serves no purpose from an educational or
scientific point of view.
The only other type of observation hive is the single frame with
no entrance whereby the bees are kept enclosed. It can only be used
for a few hours and in our opinion is very unsatisfactory. It puts
the bees under considerable stress and its use should be discouraged.
I have seen many, particularly at shows, often in direct sunlight
with the bees panicking to get out. In such a condition it serves
no purpose as the bees are not behaving naturally. At the very minimum,
provision should be made to cool the bees with water as the more
they panic the higher the temperature rises.
Setting up an observation hive
It is imperative that any observation hive is stocked with bees
which are free of disease. If this simple requirement is not observed
failure will ensue. There is sufficient stress on a little colony
being forced to exist under very abnormal nesting conditions without
having to cope with any disease problem as well.
Any frames for the observation hive must be of the best with uniform
thickness of comb otherwise they are likely to come into contact
with the inside glass. Brood combs which have been thickened at the
top with an arch of honey are unsatisfactory. The best comb is produced
by a good nucleus hive.
If the observation hive is to be of any use it must have the 'right'
number of bees. Clearly if there are too many and the hive is overcrowded
then an observer is not going to see what is going on easily and
clearly. If there are too few bees, eg. to incubate the brood, then
the colony will fail eventually. So what is the 'right' number? Consider
a BS frame (c.14 (8 inches). If it is well covered with bees there
will be c.1,500 bees on it, 750 on each side. If we have two of these
frames then 3,000 bees are required. In any balanced colony about
2/3 of the bees are house bees and the remaining 1/3 are foragers.
Initially it is wise to stock the observation hive with young bees
(ie. house bees) to ensure that any brood does not become chilled
and that it is incubated properly at the correct temperature. There
is little information about stocking observation hives and what little
there is tends to be inaccurate.
The location of the observation hive needs consideration and how
close this is to where the original colony was sited. Ideally the
distance between the two should be 2 miles or more. If the distance
is to be less than the normal flying distance of the bees then additional
bees will be required to make up for the losses. With the best will
in the world it is never possible to get rid of all the old foraging
It is best to stock the observation hive away from its final location.
Take a frame of emerging brood from a good tempered disease free
colony, lightly shaking it in order to drop off the flying bees leaving
the young bees on the frame. Another frame of sealed stores and pollen
plus young bees (shake off the old ones) will be required. When this
is in placed in the observation hive with the brood frame lowermost,
another two frames of young bees should be shaken in to augment those
on the two selected frames. Again these should be lightly shaken
first to get rid of the old foraging bees. It goes with out saying
that a young queen properly marked will complete the stocking process.
Care must be taken siting the observation hive, cognizance being
given to the following points:
a) The entrance must be away from footpaths, public highways and
in an area not frequented by the general public. Ideally the entrance
should be in an unfrequented area such as a flower bed and be at
a height of at least 2m (6 feet), above the heads of any passer-by.
The ideal cannot always be achieved and compromise will often be
b) It should be located in a position where sunlight cannot fall
directly on to the hive; a north facing wall is always best. Direct
sunlight is extremely hazardous to bees under glass and could spell
the destruction of the colony.
c) It should be provided with polystyrene sheet covers while it
is not in use, about half inch thick is adequate. These will not
only exclude the light but provide good insulation thereby lowering
d) One person must be allocated the responsibility for monitoring
its progress and for feeding whenever necessary. Note that any feeding
should be with a syrup strength of 50:50 or 1 kg sugar to 1 litre
water so that the bees can metabolise it with minimum processing.
Most observation hives of this type will require virtually continual
e) The installation must be secure and safe; by its very shape the
observation hive is an unstable object with a high centre of gravity
and requires to be bolted down firmly so that nothing can be moved
Initially the hive will have no flying bees and will need feeding.
When it has reached the stage where it becomes balanced and has its
own foragers it will then be just a matter of monitoring its progress
and feeding as required. Our own experience indicates that once young
brood is evident pollen foraging will start and the bees are able
to cope with the little colony's requirements. Dawn and I maintained
an observation hive in the City of Plymouth Museum for many years
and found that it always needed supplementing with pollen. There
was insufficient forage at some times of the year in the concrete
Management throughout the season
Providing the queen is young and prolific the small colony may be
expected to become congested in a good season, if left to its own
devices and will require attention by removing brood and/or bees.
This will mean taking the hive out of commission for an hour while
it is removed to the outdoors (after the entrance to the room is
blocked) to relieve the colony accordingly.
Continual feeding will ensure many of the cells are filled and capped;
these liquid stores will prevent the queen laying in them, thus preventing
the over crowding situation postulated above. With care and attention
it is possible to keep the colony at just the right strength throughout
the whole active season but a bit of experience is required to achieve
this state of affairs.
We mentioned earlier the need for pollen and in some circumstances
it may be necessary to augment a meagre natural supply collected
by the foraging bees. The observation hive we had in the natural
history section of Plymouth Museum had a special honey jar screwed
to it which could be removed and filled with pollen patty (or pollen
substitute) at times when no pollen was being collected and stored
in the hive.
Management throughout an active season is not complicated but it
does require a sound knowledge of honeybee-behaviour within the hive.
We learnt this lesson by monitoring the management of the Museum
observation hive which was being undertaken by one of the Museum
staff; we eventually had to do it ourselves.
Uses for an observation hive
As the observation hive is basically a small nucleus it is unlikely
to contain drones. Only queen and worker bees are likely to be present.
While at most public demonstrations there will be an interest in
the queen, from an educational and scientific point of view the activity
of the workers is much more interesting.
Places where observation hives are likely to be of interest are:
a) Educational establishments such as schools and universities.
b) At honey shows and events organised by beekeeping organisations
where the public are admitted.
c) As permanent displays in the natural history sections of museums.
d) In premises where honey is sold. This is only used as a marketing
gimmick to get the honey sales moving initially.
e) On a limited scale for lectures and talks about bees; this is
usually the sealed one frame aid mentioned earlier. Not recommended
because of stress to the bees.
f) At country craft exhibitions.
g) For research purposes, for example at Rothamsted.
h) Perhaps there are others I have omitted?
In general, members of the public just see a mass of bees and that
is the end of the story unless they have some previous knowledge
of the honeybee or there is an 'expert' there to explain what is
happening in the hive. This is an area which needs careful consideration
as I have listened to some of these so called experts talking codswallop
to people who know no better. Always have a knowledgeable well educated
beekeeper to answer questions and to explain the workings of an observation
In a museum it is a good idea to have some well prepared leaflets
available for the public to take away. The ones we had for Plymouth
were based on a question and answer format, the questions being those
which were most often asked.
Undoubtedly the major use is for education and research purposes,
all the others remain subsidiary to this main use. In schools they
can be used as a teaching aid and are far better than a school apiary,
which is unsatisfactory for young children from a safety point of
view. In Devon we positively discourage children in apiaries unless
accompanied by their parents, who must take responsibility for their
safety. We will list a few activities which can be studied with an
observation in a school, activities which can apply to most, if not
all, age groups:
Wax making and comb building including cell capping.
Use of wax comb
when built such as brood nest, pollen storage and nectar/honey storage.
laying by the queen.
Development of larvae and pupae; the cells can
be marked on the glass with felt-tipped pens.
Duties of the worker
bee which are legion.
Foraging activity through the entrance tube;
timing out and in and the type of foragers.
Activity with respect
to weather conditions and its parameters (temperature, wind speed,
It will be clear that projects involving the above can be made as
simple or as complicated as one may wish depending on the age group
For scientific work there is usually a research project involved
and special requirements for the observation hive.
Other points of interest
It is possible to maintain an observation hive on a year to year
basis allowing the little colony to over winter in its unusual surroundings.
It can only do this without clustering because there will not be
space for the bees to form a proper cluster. There are two approaches.
The first is to supply the observation hive with heat by the use
of heating coils either under or round the hive. The second, which
is much better, is to keep the hive in a heated room about 65(F (18(C).
During the inactive season the bees do not cluster but remain quiescent,
patrolling slowly and consuming stores also slowly. These were the
conditions in the Plymouth Museum where bees have been kept under
these conditions for a number of years. Slowly, during the course
of the winter, bees die off (see a graph of the annual colony population
cycle) and the stores reduce. The colony is fed during the late summer
like any other colony so that it is completely honey bound as it
goes into winter. The hive is taken out of service once a year in
March/April to clean and disinfect the hive before it is replaced
for another year. It was even treated with a Bayvarol strip for Varroosis
by inserting a strip through a slot made especially for the purpose.
In permanent installations due regard has to be taken of vandalism,
an unfortunate feature of today's society. I apologise for 'banging
on' so much about the Plymouth Museum but it has been very valuable
experience and vandalism is no exception. One would have thought,
as we did, that a hive well and safely installed inside the museum
would be safe with patrolling attendants during opening hours. This
proved not to be so. It was vandalised on two occasions by someone
killing off the bees, we believe, with something from an aerosol
spray. The first time the colony was decimated completely, we think
by spraying the toxin through the ventilators. We modified the ventilators
so that this could not happen again. It did but our modification
prevented major damage and the colony suffered a loss of bees only.
In the first case the police failed to find the culprits (they did
not have a lot to go on) and NBU/MAFF failed to identify the toxin
which would have helped the police. It takes some believing but they
lost the sample we provided. So they said! There has been evidence
of physical damage but because it is installed so securely this has
not been a problem; had the installation been indifferent there could
have been trouble.
BEE SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (PART 2 OF 5)
It would perhaps be appropriate at this stage to say a few words regarding the
strain of bee to be used in this future series of experiments.
All colonies have originated from swarms collected locally, some
having issued from known feral colonies.
Interested in the amount of hybridization of each swarm, John
E.Dews and Eric Milner's book "Breeding Better Bees" was
consulted to obtain a better understanding of the possible mix
of A.m.mellifera, A.m.ligustica,/carnica, present in each swarm.
Morphometric identification was only undertaken using forewing
samples and measurement of wing veins to establish the Cubital
Index and Discoidal Shift.
Scattergrams and Histograms were produced and a comparison made
between those of the Dark Bee, A.m.mellifera and A.m.ligustica/carnica
as depicted in "Breeding Better Bees"
An example of such a comparison for Hive 15 is shown below.
The initial experiment regarding the compass alignment of natural
comb was conducted in Hives 7-3, 8-3, and 13-3. Scattergrams and
Histograms for these colonies are depicted below.
It is clear that each hive has displayed a unique ‘Wing
Print’ signature in this respect and any conformity in colony
behaviour observed in forthcoming experiments may be considered
to be independent of the breed of bee.
(To be continued next month)
In this article, we have managed
to get Matt Allen to talk about bees for a change, or at least
various bits of bee in a discourse on bee structure.
MICROSCOPY FOR BEE BEGINNERS.
At one stage the Open University had an overstock of student
dissecting microscopes which they were selling off at a bargain
price – I think it was £25 plus vat. The microscopes
are very basic models, but in a field where you talk £6,000
as the starting price for a modest machine, this was a bargain
indeed. So I purchased and I must say that my student microscope
has earned its keep over and over again.
I recall this because I was talking to two groups of overseas
colleagues whose first languages were not English, describing some
of the activities of different kinds of bees. I try in cases like
this to be demonstrative, to ease any language difficulties, so
there I was, making a fool of myself as usual, acting out the recruitment
dances of foragers and the grooming behaviour of honeybees flying
home covered in pollen. This latter one is too quick to follow
with the naked eye, but it involves a sequence of leg motions,
which ends up with the pollen being removed from the body of the
bee, ending up in those coloured ‘pantaloons’ which
we see being carried into the hive (and bluff to unsuspecting onlookers, ‘Oh
yes, indeed, that one there – do you see her? – she’s
been foraging on privet for sure.’ Fibber.)
I lost track of where the hairs are on each particular leg, and
was immediately taken back to a beekeeping exam I sat years ago.
This was a practical exam, quite hard work. I’d worked my
way through the botany and disease sections, made a complete chump
of myself at the mead judging, and was faced with the anatomy,
where I had to identify under the microscope the legs of various
bees. The problem here is that the diagrams in the text book look
nothing like the actual thing which has been squashed, twisted,
distorted onto the slide. The clues you are looking for are these;
only the workers have special apparatus for manipulating pollen,
ie rows of hairs, individual spikes, pollen extruders on the knees
of the hind legs; a little gadget for grooming the antennae, and
so forth; neither the drone nor the queen have these mechanisms,
and you differentiate those on shape and size. Then, curses, as
if that wasn’t bad enough, you had to remember the names
of all those tiny bits of feet, which seem to go on and on. My
mind goes blank at this stage....
Another wacky thing about legs – apparently they contain
an organ, ‘ear’ is probably not the right word, which
detects vibrations. Remember an insect is built inside out, according
to our rules. So the leg is hard on the outside, filled with, for
want of a better word, blood. Across the interior of one part of
the leg is a nerve fibre which picks up vibrations transmitted
through the structure of the leg. Sing to them as you approach
with hive tool and smoker in hand – it may make all the difference...
When I sat down to write, I was intending to talk about the microscope
master Antoni van Leeuwenhoek who was producing results which astonished
Europe in the mid 1600’s, but that will have to wait. The
editor is waiting for this bit so the presses can roll, and I’m
THE FIGHT AGAINST VARROA
In a previous issue
of Apis-UK we reported on the use of thymol to combat varroa as part
of an integrated control strategy.
Research in Spain showed that a thymol/olive oil mix soaked onto
florist sponge worked well. Since then however two correspondents
have noted that this system did not work well. It is worth therefore
reiterating the conditions required for the method to work effectively
and to this end contacted Cordoba University and others to assess
1. The correct mix is 1.5Kg of oil to 1Kg of thymol.
2. The sponge size should be 9 X 5 X 0.8cm.
3. With this amount, 125 sponges can be made. Each sponge is
broken in two and placed between the two end frames of brood. One
piece towards the entrance, the other away from the entrance.
4. Use 1 sponge (broken in two) in hives with a minimum of 8
frames of bees. Repeat after 8 to 12 days. With heavy infestations,
a third dose may be required.
5. Use the method in the Spring with minimum temperatures of
20C and maximum of 30C.
The scientists stress that for the best results, beekeepers should
ensure that colonies should be lightly or moderately infested.
Really heavy infestations do not respond as well to this treatment.
The colonies should be strong with at least 8 frames of bees and
there should be a young queen. They have found that colonies with
controlled queens are much more able to progress than those with
old uncontrolled queens.
Overdosing or using the treatment in excessive heat can cause
bees to become aggressive and to exit the hive, clinging in large
numbers to the alighting board and on the front of the hive. It
may even cause abandonment of the hive.
Scientists now suggest that thymol be used in the Spring and
Summer (bearing in mind temperatures), and organic acids such as
oxalic acid in Autumn and Winter. For non organic operations thymol
can be alternated with other treatments such as Apistan.
The use of Food Grade Mineral Oil
The use of food grade mineral oil as a treatment
for varroa has received much press recently especially in the
USA . One of the main protagonists, Dr Pedro P Rodriguez of the
USA has carried out much research on this method over several
years and has developed several systems for the application of
New changes to his development have greatly improved the method
and it is well worth beekeepers investigating his methods which
are explained in great detail at www.beesource.com The
site gives full research results together with precise methods
and formulae for what appears to be an easy, cheap and successful
method of varroa control.
OF THE MONTH Back to
Back to oak trees again for this month’s poem.
The oak is on their hills; the
Bears the rich acorn, and the trunk the bee.
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 food recipe for this month is as promised another Victorian
honey pudding. Now that the longest day has passed and winter is
almost upon us, more and more of us will be craving these comforting
feasts together with the hot chocolate and brandy.
So here is Honey
You will need:
2 dessert spoons of honey.
6 oz of honey.
A pinch of salt.
1 teaspoon of baking powder.
3 oz of butter or margerine.
2 oz of sugar.
Milk to mix.
Grease a 1.5 pint 3/4 litre pudding basin and put 1 dessert spoon
of honey in the bottom. Sift together the flour, salt and baking
powder. Rub in the butter and add the sugar. Beat together the
egg and 1 dessert spoon of honey and stir into the dry ingredients
with enough milk to make a dropping consistency. Put the pudding
mixture into the basin, cover with a piece of greased paper and
steam for 2 hours.
Firstly we detail an unguent which is extremely efficient in
dealing with those irritating rough areas of skin on your arms
and other areas of the body.
You will need:
50g of bitter almonds.
30g of iris root.
30g of starch.
4 egg yokes.
200g of alcohol.
20 drops of rose essence.
500g of honey.
Make a paste of the almonds. To do this you should first throw
them in boiling water to remove the thin covering film on them.
they are dry, make the paste.
Crush the iris roots and mix
well with the starch.
Mix in with the almond paste and add the
Add the alcohol and place over a medium heat to warm
At the last minute add the honey and rose essence and
Rose essence is expensive. Jasmine essence which is cheaper may
be substituted. Both are a relaxant and are said to relieve stress.
FACT FILE Back
In this short fact file we take a look at Taqman, a novel
method of detecting viruses in honey bees. The NBU is currently
launching an investigation into the occurrence of viruses in
honey bee colonies throughout England and Wales and to do this
will be using the TaqMan technique. It is thought that the
technique has enormous potential for future work both in the
UK and abroad. Previously, any surveys with respect to the
occurrence of bee viruses in colonies have been dependent upon
antisera. Thus comparison of data has been dependent upon the
specificity of the antisera generated in different laboratories.
This is of importance because there are often multiple viral
infections in bees. Other restrictions hamper researchers using
previous techniques. Surveys have not always been able to detect
innaprent infections and sample sizes are limited thus not
always providing conclusive results. TaqMan technology which
is not new in itself can overcome these limitations and can
be applied to the detection of honey bee diseases. So for the scientists out there, here is a short explanation
of the process.
TaqMan indicates the probe used to detect specific
sequences of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) products by employing
the 5’-->3’ exonuclease activity of Taq DNA polymerase.
It could also be called a Fluorogenic 5’ nuclease assay.
The probe itself consists of a site specific sequence labelled
with a fluorescent reporter dye and a fluorescent quencher
dye. The TaqMan assay offers a sensitive method to determine
the presence or absence of specific sequences. Therefore this
technique is especially useful in diagnostic applications such
as the screening of samples for the presence of or incorporation
of favourable traits and the detection of pathogens and diseases.
The assay allows high sample throughput because no gel electrophoresis
is required for detection.
The analytical procedure is as follows:
Extraction of DNA.
Amplification of DNA fragments by PCR.
Determination of the florescent spectra of the PCR samples.
The main requirements are:
A thermocycler and a spectrophotometer. The advantages of the TaqMan assay is that low quantities
of template DNA are required; no gel electrophoresis is required;
It is quick and easy to assay; it is a closed tube assy which
prevents erratic results due to post PCR contamination, and
it is amenable to automation. A typical system would consist of a PCR based assay integrated
with laser scanning technology to excite fluorescent dyes in
the specially designed Taqman probes for the real time detection
of PCR. Complicated stuff, but this is what the NBU scientists will
be involved in using your sample bees. The survey will be of
benefit to all beekeepers and hopefully will be well supported. (See
also the News section of this issue).
NOTE Back to top
THE SWARMING SEASON
In this, the swarming
season, let us hear from an old bee master on how to attract
swarms. Nowadays, research tells us that old comb, and
a variety of other substances attracts swarms to empty
hives, but in the old days the bee men still knew a trick
And remember that their aim was different. This is how they
increased their stocks, often having killed off the old bees.
'In swarming time, season the Hives that you are minded
to use, thus: rub them down with sweet herbs, such as the
Bees love, as thyme, baulm, savory, marjoram, fennel, hysop,
mallows, bean-top &c. And when the swarm is settled,
take a branch of the tree whereupon it is, and wipe it clean,
and then wet the inside of your hive with a little honey
mead, or salt and water, or small beer. And thus the Hives
are to be prepared and dressed.' Sir
J. More. 1707.
I have an adapted Maculloch garden vac but with very full
supers there was so little space between the combs, it just didn't
clear the bees. Does
anyone have suggestions about nozzle size, air flow volumes, etc, etc? Jeremy
On the 4/5 Sept 04 the fourth Soil Association Organic Food
Festival will take place at the Bristol Harbourside.
With over 170 stalls selling to the public and trade and
20,000 customers at last year's event this is the biggest
show of its kind in Europe. New for 2004 is a Wild Harvest
Pavillion to showcase the best produce that is naturally
produced but difficult or impossible to organically certify.
We have traders booked in to sell fish, wild mushrooms, game
and would really like to feature a honey producer. If you
would be interested in receiving more details about this
major commercial opportunity please contact us for a booking
form / information pack. Best regards Steve
Events, 33 Beechmount Drive , Weston super Mare , BS24 9EY
Tel: 10934 813 407
I wonder whether you could tell me where I can
buy stingless bee honey (Mexican, Brazillian, Venezuelan, Guatelamaren
etc) in the UK? Many thanks Leanna email@example.com
If anyone out there has any info on this please let me know
and I will pass it on. Ed.
We are attempting to update the following for the
next Beekeepers Annual 2005:
Editors of local beekeeping association
(or county BKA ) newsletters
Colleges or counties that offer
We will of course be writing to individuals. If you have information
which you feel should be in the next issue of the Annual contact
Jerry Burbidge of Northern Bee Books. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annuals available from the URL: http://www.beedata.com/beebooks.htm
FOR YOUR DIARY Back
Event organisers are welcome
to forward dates and details
of their events to the editor (by e-mail) for incorporation
on this page.
Bee Keeping Courses 2004 at Hartpury College for
beginners, intermediate and advanced download full 2004 listing
in PDF Beekeeping
courses at Hartpury College
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
Editor: David Cramp Submissions
contact the Editor
Web Editor: Steven Turner
E-mail addresses are not hyper linked to prevent harvesting
for spamming purposes. We recommend you cut & paste
to your e-mail client if required.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH Back
Here is a chance for you to show your deep knowledge of beekeeping.
There are no prizes but if you do know the answer then write
in and let us know.
Who said this and about what?
"What is it that governs here, that issues orders,
foresees the future....?"
Whoever it was, we will bring you a short biography of the person
in the next edition and use the subject as our Fact File.
here to print this page