Stained Glass Window exhibit
at he 2004 National
This edition of Apis-UK will be the last edited
from Spain. At least for the time being. Like my friendly enemies
the bee eaters (which have all gone now), I am heading South for
There is sad news for beekeepers in the UK with reports (see
In the News), that seasonal bee inspectors are to be reduced or
axed. Governments are strange creatures and appear to have an agenda
all their own. Although Apis-UK always steers sharply away from
politics, there is no doubting that politics always catches up
with you. When the seasonal bee inspector posts were first announced,
they were deemed an ‘essential’ weapon in the apicultural
armoury of the country. If they were essential then, they are essential
now. In fact with the threat of SHB looming on the horizon, even
more so. If they were not essential then, then much tax payers’ money
has been wasted in the meantime. There is always a good argument
for reducing costs/posts etc and these arguments will be put to
the media and to beekeepers; better technology now available in
fighting diseases; more knowledge about diseases; the results of
research now available; let’s be more realistic etc etc.
But many are nonsense and illogical. It is money, pure and simple.
It is all very reminiscent of life in Her Majesty’s Forces.
The more tasks we were given around the world, the fewer there
were of us to do them. Just get on with it boys and if you can’t
take a joke you shouldn’t have joined!
With reports that the Small Hive Beetle has been
found in Portugal, I am more than ever convinced that where honey
bees go, their pests and diseases will follow and that this is
just a matter of time. It is true, that effective actions taken
can delay their arrival and give beekeepers and scientists time
to prepare, but sure enough, they will arrive. A correspondent
commented to me that this may not be true and gave the example
of the africanised bee and its spread being limited by rainfall.
But although an africanised bee may be a pest, it is not a bee
pest or disease. Many bee species are limited in their distribution.
But their pests are not. They go where the bees go. My advice to
beekeepers is to prepare for the worst and start by reading up
all you can about the beetle. There is an excellent article in
the last edition of Bee World which summarises the facts about
the beast and the methods of combating it. And when it does come,
we will be able to continue with our beekeeping. Ask a new beekeeper
about varroa and he or she will regard it as just another pest
to be fought. Beekeepers who were around when it arrived regarded
it as the end of the world. Read the old beekeeping magazines of
the 90s. It will be the same with the beetle. We simply need to
get ready for it, and cutting out the seasonal bee inspectors is
not exactly the right way of doing this. Predictable, but wrong.
The National Honey Show appears to have been a resounding success
and a report appears below. It will be a long time before the National
experiences anything as daring as a streaker, but there was the
excitement of a protest (see below). Evidently the RAF Museum was
a popular location and it may well be that with this better location,
the show will begin to regain attendance figures of old.
So, in this issue of Apis-UK, we look at various topics of interest,
including poisonous honey (which we all knew about anyway) but
which seems to be news to the media and although I would not wish
to belittle the problem especially for those who suffer, the news
reports have as usual gone over the top in their reaction.
We also look at a report on how we manage to coexist
and we report on a new dimension to the term ‘bee space’.
The decline of honey bee populations is a problem we all worry
about, and in this issue we look at a report about whether
wild bees can replace the fewer numbers of honey bees. Pollination
is the subject of several of our reports and we see how pollinating
insects favour organic farms and look at a report that assesses
the effectiveness of wind pollination. An interesting subject,
can bees get drunk? If so, can we learn anything from this in relation
to human alcoholism? We may well be able to and a report below
looks at this fascinating area of bee research. It never ceases
to amaze me what we can learn from bees and for many beekeepers
this is all part of the delight in beekeeping.
Finally, we include our usual columns and as promised,
we take a look at the European honey export situation. Where does
our honey go, for how much and to whom? Chad Cryer writes for us
on the economic aspects of beekeeping which has much relevance
it seems as to whether we should go for the euro or not, and with
our superb recipes and cures, our poem and our historical note,
I present the October and November issue of Apis-UK. Keep in touch.
P.S. Due to my move to
New Zealand, we are producing a combined October/November edition
of Apis-UK. I return
to the fray for the December issue.
BEE HEALTH UNDER THREAT
Full BBKA Press Release from the URL: http://www.bbka.org.uk/news/news/nbu-cut-backs.shtml
Her Majesty’s Government is planning to reduce support
of the Honeybee Health Programme from £1.25 million to
just £1 million. This saving of just £250K or 20%
of the budget, risks the decimation of the UK honeybee population
and the £100 million plus contribution that these insects
make to agriculture through their pollination activities.
The Honeybee Health Programme, managed through the National
Bee Unit of DEFRA, has been operating successfully for many
years, helping the 30,000 beekeepers in England, 95% of whom
operate on a small scale, to control diseases that can destroy
honeybee colonies. The diseases include American Foul Brood,
European Foul Brood and Varroosis. Since the arrival of Varroa
(a parasitic mite that kills honeybee colonies) in this country
in 1992, wild colonies of honeybees have died out and it is
only beekeepers that maintain stocks of honeybees.
The Government’s own survey conducted by ADAS, published
in 2001 showed that honeybees contribute at least £120
million to the agricultural economy of the country. This does
not include the benefit to horticulture or to the environment
as a whole. The survey underlined that the Honeybee Health Programme
was very important in protecting our bee stocks from the introduction
of disease from outside this country.
In fact the next threat to honeybees, the Small Hive Beetle,
has already been found in Portugal and other members states
of the EU. This pest has devastated bee colonies in USA after
being introduced from South Africa. It is only a matter of time
before it arrives on our shores. When it does, beekeepers will
need all the help they can get to defend their bees. The planned
Government cuts mean that there will not be adequate professional
support in the battle against the beetle.
The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) fears that
if these cuts are made, many small scale beekeepers will give-up
keeping bees because they will not have access to local professional
support should their bees become sick.
Ivor Davis - Chairman of the BBKA said:
“We fear that withdrawal of this support from the
Government will force many beekeepers to give up the craft
with a consequential large reduction of honeybees in this
country. We believe that this is economic folly in that trying
to save just £250,000 could result in a loss of many £ millions
to the agriculture of this country, especially to early flowering
crops such as fruit trees that rely on honeybees for pollination"
Tim Lovett - Vice Chairman of BBKA speaking on Radio
4's Today programme said:
“In a nutshell, if we loose this service, we put
at risk the whole bee population in the United Kingdom”
THE NATIONAL HONEY SHOW
The 2004 National Honey Show is now over, and I think
we can look back upon it with a degree of satisfaction. We anticipated
that there would be some glitches and I know there have been
some, not least the delivery of exhibits on the Wednesday afternoon,
and the difficulty that some visitors had in finding their way
around the various parts of the show, but these will be remedied
in time for next year.
I am always amazed at the high quality of the exhibits,
and this year they seemed to be even better than usual.
Certainly there were more exhibits and more entrants than
last year. Thank you all very much and well done! It gave us
all great satisfaction to end the show by making Dan Deasy a patron
of the show, and also William Munday our president for the next
three years. Finally, I want to thank you all, competitors and
helpers for making the show the undoubted success that it was.
to next year's show 20th – 22nd October 2005.
Chairman of the National Honey Show. Website: www.honeyshow.co.uk (See
report by Frank Chappell in the articles section. Ed).
ONE MAN DEMO AGAINST BBKA AT NATIONAL HONEY SHOW
On the last day of the National Honey Show a one person
protester, Suffolk beekeeper Paul Hartly, stood outside the gates
of the RAF museum with his banner "BBKA stop promoting pesticides".
He said, "I feel passionately that the British Beekeepers'
Association should not accept money from pesticide companies
for endorsing so called bee friendly pesticides". Paul has
been writing letters for a number of years on food safety issues.
The BBKA did publish one of his letters in BBKA NEWS No.147 June
2004. (If you are a members of the BBKA you can download BBKA
News by accessing the members/download area URL: http://www.bbka.org.uk Ed.)
THE UNION GROWS
As a result of the
expansion of the EU to 25 members, the number of beehives in the enlarged union
has risen by 34% from 8,678192 hives to 11,626300. Of the ten new countries,
Poland arrived with the most with 32% of all the new hives. From the
figures below you can see that Hungary and the Check Republic
also have important apicultural industries. The EU has now carried
out a census of the number of hives and here are those numbers
for each member of the 25.
Check Republic 477743
DON'T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME: A NEW VIEW ON HOW SPECIES COEXIST
Source:Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine
and animals living together in communities don't rub shoulders
too closely because evolution has caused them to compromise on
key life measures, say ecologists at Imperial College London
and Royal Holloway, University of London, writing in the journal
Science today (1 October).
The researchers suggest a new basis for explaining how communities
of species assemble: they have to give up being good at everything
and 'trade off' their life histories. 'Life histories' is ecological
jargon for the important measures, shaped by evolution, such
as how often you can reproduce; how many children you will have;
how long you can live for; and crucially, how good you are at
getting food on which to survive. "You can't be good at
doing everything," says
Dr Mike Bonsall, a Royal Society University Research Fellow
working at Imperial College London, and first author of the
paper. "Most people do one thing really well, another thing
fairly well and then aren't very good at anything else. So it
is with any other species. Now we know that they coexist precisely
because they each have different life histories."
The London researchers assembled a simple artificial community
of parasitoid wasps within a computer model, and then watched
what happened over very long periods of time - up to 100,000
generations. Parasitoid wasps, insects that kill other insects
by laying eggs in them, account for a fifth of all known multi-celled
species. Their 200,000 species places them approximately next
to land plants in terms of diversity.
To their surprise they found that over long periods of time,
'gaps', or differences in their life histories, opened up between
the evolving parasitoid wasp species, which are not filled by
others. They suggest this may explain the great diversity of
wasps seen in nature. "There is a fixed amount of difference
Dr Bonsall. "This allows evolution to affect patterns of
diversity such as how many similar species we see." Dr.
Vincent Jansen, author of the paper from Royal Holloway, University
of London, added: "The bottom line of this work
is that patterns of diversity are shaped both by ecology and
One way of capturing the essence of the new work, he added,
is expressed in the concept of the 'Darwinian demon' - a hypothetical
species that develops rapidly, reproduces continuously and does
not age. Trade offs in life histories are thought to prevent
Darwinian demons from evolving. Rather, similar species are
allowed to coexist. Editor's Note: The original news release
can be found here. This story has been adapted from a news release
issued by Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine.
NEW BUMBLE BEE STUDY
With the unwelcome news that three species of bumble
bees are already extinct in the UK, a team of researchers have
embarked on a project to try to save the UK's declining population
of bumble bees. The group from the University of Southampton
is in the Hebrides for the study, where farming is more traditional
and rare bees more common.
In this study, they are using DNA to detect how many nests
are on the islands, and to determine exactly how big a bee population
has to be to survive. Bumble bees are believed to be in danger
of dying out in parts of the UK. Dr Dave Goulson, in charge
of the study, said: "Survival of at least five rare species
is threatened by the spread of intensive agriculture destroying
wild flowers and hedgerows, which are the bees' natural habitat.” "Colonies
do not seem able to survive in small areas such as nature reserves
and many are dying out.”Three species are already extinct
in the UK." The
researchers also want to devise ways for farmers to encourage
bumble bees to flourish on their land, such as by sowing wildflower
strips and restoring hay-meadows. As most beekeepers will know,
unlike honey bees, bumble bees construct a fresh nest every
summer. The queen produces many sterile female workers, male
drones and future queens but all except the newly-mated young
queens die with the first frosts of autumn.
The project is funded by a £130,000 research grant from
the Leverhulme Trust, with £50,000 coming from the C.B.Dennis
Trust. This latter trust is well known to UK beekeepers as a
most welcome benefactor to many bee research projects.
POWERFUL POLLINATORS, WILD BEES MAY FAVOUR ECO-FARMS
Ben Harder for National Geographic News December
Organic farming is not only friendlier to the soil and the
environment than conventional farming, it’s also friendlier
to an underappreciated agricultural workforce - wild bees. So
indicates the latest research on how well bees distribute pollen
across different types of cropland. The finding has economic
implications for farmers, many of whom currently rely heavily
on domesticated bees to perform crop pollination, Princeton
University conservation biologist Claire Kremen told National
If farmers restored natural habitats near their lands and used
more organic cultivating techniques, resulting growth of wild
bee communities might reduce growers’ dependence on European
honeybees, the domesticated variety, and ultimately pay financial
dividends, she said. Kremen added that such farming methods
would also offer insurance against the possibility of further
declines among European honeybees, which have suffered setbacks
in recent years. Pesticides, diseases, and other deadly agents
have taken their toll over the past decade.
Read the full story
bee habitats around agricultural croplands would encourage the
return of wild bees and reduce farmers’ dependence
on expensive, domesticated European bees for crop pollination.
Furthermore, domesticated colonies that have crossbred with
Africanized “killer” bees have been rendered too
aggressive for beekeepers to manage, further depleting their
availability to farmers, said bee researcher Robbin W. Thorp
of the University of California–Davis. “Pollination
is an incredibly important ecological function,” Kremen
said. Bees function as pollinators because, as they feed on
flower after flower, they unintentionally shuttle grains of
pollen from one plant to the next. Without bees to do that lifting,
many common North American plants - including numerous economically
important crops - would go unfertilized and would be unable
to reproduce, she said. For more than a century, the most popular
pollinators among North American farmers have been domesticated
descendants of imported European honeybees, said Thorp. He estimated
that 3,500 to 4,000 species of non-domesticated bees that are
native to North America can also pollinate crops - when they
can survive on or near croplands.
But modern intensive farming practices often don’t provide
all the resources bees need to stay alive. Beekeepers take care
of domesticated bees, while the wild bees are left to subsist
on shrinking wild habitats.
Homegrown Labor Movement
“We don’t necessarily need to rely on honeybees,” said
Kremen. In fact, she said, farms with sufficient numbers and
types of wild native bees theoretically don’t require
the domesticated honeybees at all. “But the caveat is
that we only find sufficient numbers of native bees in areas
that are near native habitat.”
Kremen reached that conclusion after she, Thorp, and Neal Williams
of Princeton University conducted experiments on watermelon
plots in California. The research trio considered two important
factors about each plot: How much natural habitat existed near
the farm, and whether the farm relied on organic or conventional
cultivating techniques. The researchers measured the abundance
and diversity of wild bees on all three types of farms during
the 2001 growing season. They also measured how rapidly pollen
accumulated on flowers living on each farm type. Domesticated
bees weren’t used during the experiments. Kremen and her
team mates found more than twice as many bees - from more than
twice as many different species - on organic farms near wild
habitats than they did on either organic farms farther from
natural habitats or conventional farms close to nature.
The researchers also found that native bees delivered an average
of nearly 1,800 pollen grains per day to each flower on organic
farms near natural lands, but only about 600 and 300 grains
per flower per day, respectively, to the second and third farm
types. About 1,000 pollen grains per flower per day are required
for successful fertilization, they estimated. “On organic
farms near natural habitat, we found that native bee communities
could provide full pollination services,” the researchers
concluded in a paper that will appear in an upcoming issue of
the journal Proceeds of the National Academy of Sciences. “All
other farms, however, experienced greatly reduced diversity
and abundance of native bees, resulting in insufficient pollination
services from native bees alone,” the trio wrote.
A Beeline for the Bottom Line
Kremen said that
farming techniques that appear friendly to native bees include
avoiding herbicide and pesticide use; growing a diversity of
crops on each plot of land, rather than a single crop; and cultivating
some plants that don’t have economic
value on their own but that help provide a continual supply
of food for native bees. In some cases, she said, it may even
be advantageous to allow weeds to grown along the borders of
fields. “We couldn’t do away with honeybees all
together,” said Kremen. But, she said, farmers could “reduce
the [number of] honeybees that they rent and blow that money
into these small restoration efforts,” which could help
native bee populations grow and might ultimately pay dividends.
The resulting diversity of bee species would also offer an insurance
policy against, for example, attacks by parasites that prey
mainly on honeybees. “If honeybees continue to decline,
[these farmers] will be better off, because they’ll have
these natural pollinators,” said Kremen. “As we
destroy natural habitats, we are reducing our options,” she
said. “We are destroying an insurance policy.”
NEW POLLINATION DISCOVERY COULD HAVE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
beekeepers will know that one of the main aims of commercial
beekeeping is to provide a pollination service, and indeed, this
service whether by accident or design is essential to any farming
community. But those beekeepers will also know that some plants
are wind pollinated either wholly or partially. (Hay fever sufferers
will certainly know all about this). But how effective is this
wind pollination? Until recently it was thought that it was indeed
an effective means of pollination, but in a new study, it has
been found that the wind transports pollen far less effectively
than scientists assumed according to a new study of invasive
Atlantic cordgrass by researchers at UC Davis in the USA. A
practical application of this new knowledge will help control
a cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora that is invading wetlands
on the Pacific coast of America.
Plants including grasses, oaks and pine trees need the wind
to carry pollen between plants, fertilizing nascent seeds. Scientists
guessed that wind pollination was efficient, but the theory
hadn't been tested. "People think, because they get hay
fever, there's always plenty of pollen in the air," said
Heather G. Davis, lead author on the study published Aug. 16
in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
USA. "But pollen is
fragile, like sperm. It has a very short life."
Working in the salt marsh of Willapa Bay, Wash. Davis and
colleagues studied wind pollination at two stages of a Spartina
invasion: early, when plants are spread apart, and late, when
plants form a solid meadow.
Wind pollination worked well for late-invasion meadow plants,
causing high seed production. But the wind worked poorly when
plants were spread further apart.
Early-invasion plants received little pollen and made very
Davis thinks this explains why Spartina covers only 60 of Willapa
Bay 's 230 acres, despite having been present in the bay for a
century. The study's findings are helping biologists devise new
strategies to eradicate invasive species. A worrying feature of
this is that the researchers believe that inefficient wind pollination
could also speed the extinction of rare plants.
A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON BEE SPACE
This research project details an ingenious and incredibly
complex Information System to help scientists analyze
mechanisms of social behaviour. The information system
is to be driven by the honey bee. With a $5 million, five-year
grant from the National Science Foundation, the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will create Bee Space, a system
to help scientists analyze all sources of information relevant
to the mechanisms of social behaviour.
The complex society of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera,
will drive the information system. The system will be a software
environment that “will help to shed light on an unprecedented
scale on the relationship between genes and how lives are carried
out in an animal society,” said principal investigator
Bruce Schatz, professor of library and information science. “We
will take a fresh look at the fundamental problem of the mechanism
of behaviour, whether behaviour is caused by nature or nurture,” said
Schatz, who also directs the Community Architectures for Network
Information Systems (CANIS) Laboratory, a campus resource for
new information systems. “Worries abound over the ethical
implications of genetic determinism,” he said. “The
goal of Bee Space is to help forge a deeper understanding of
the relationship between genes and behaviour that transcends
nature-nurture. This project will use genomic biology to demonstrate
that what matters for social behaviour is that DNA is both genetically
inherited and environmentally responsive.”
Bee Space was one of six awards totalling $30 million announced
today as part of the NSF’s Frontiers of Integrative Biological
Research (FIBR), a program now in its second year. Bee Space
will be housed in the Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB), now
under construction on Gregory Drive in Urbana. The $75 million
state-of-the-art facility, which will open in mid-2006, will
be home to 400 campus researchers in three broad areas: systems
biology, cellular and metabolic engineering, and genome technology. “We
are pleased to provide the institutional support for Bee Space,
which will be a flagship project for the institute,” said
Harris Lewin, IGB director and professor of animal sciences. “We
are putting significant resources behind this project to ensure
that it demonstrates the great potential of genomic biology.”
genome technology will underlie the Bee Space efforts in biology
and informatics research. “In biology research, we will
develop the first complete analysis of the normal behaviour
of an animal at the level of gene expression,“ said Gene
E. Robinson, professor of entomology. Robinson, the G.W. Arends
Professor of Integrative Biology and director of the Neuroscience
Program at Illinois, is one of six scientists with leading roles
in Bee Space. Robinson also is coordinating the honey-bee genome
project, which began in 2002, with sequencers at the Human Genome
Sequencing Centre at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Honey
bees are complex social animals with highly flexible behaviour,” he
said. “They live in the equivalent of an urban environment
where much of their social behaviour is in response to environmental
conditions.” A Bee Space team led by Robinson will generate
a molecular signature of all the major roles performed by honey
bees. “To do this,” he said, “we will generate
profiles of gene expression that occurs in the brain of individuals
that are captured in the very act of performing their normal
While the experimental model is an insect, the researchers
will use broad categories of social roles that could potentially
apply to higher organisms, including humans. To further support
comparisons across organisms, genes whose expressions are particularly
significant for social behaviour will be localized within the
bee brain. Susan Fahrbach, a long-time professor of entomology
at Illinois who now is the Reynolds Professor of Developmental
Neuroscience at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, will
handle the neuroanatomy. She also will use Bee Space in undergraduate
education. “In informatics research, we will develop the
first complete environment to conceptually navigate all the
knowledge about a major model organism,“ Schatz said. “The
Bee Space environment will include all information relevant
to social behaviour of honey bees, from genome databases and
scientific literature,” he said. “This information
will be indexed with new semantic technologies that will support
interactive navigation across many sources from many viewpoints,
at the level of concepts rather than data.”
Technologies to statistically analyze the information sources
to enable semantic indexing will be developed by ChengXiang
Zhai, professor of computer science and an expert on processing
natural language for information retrieval. Sandra Rodriguez-Zas,
professor of animal sciences and expert on designing micro array
experiments, will pursue technologies to analyze the gene expressions.
The experimental users of Bee Space will be an international
community of biologists who study honey bees and related organisms.
The education and outreach will be supervised by Bertram Bruce,
professor of library and information science. Students and educators
will be fundamentally involved in the project.
University students will be trained in the frontiers of integrative
biology, and advanced high school and minority middle-school
students will get a taste of the scientific research. “By
testing the Bee Space environment with users at different levels,
we hope to demonstrate the utility of concept navigation across
community knowledge,“ Schatz said. “Similar
information technology can then serve as a model of the Interspace,
the generation of the Net beyond the Internet, where the entire
world’s knowledge can be easily analyzed across many sources.” (I
wonder what Langstroth would have thought about all this. Ed).
BEE PRESS Back to top
Beecraft October 2004 Volume 86 Number 10
Claire Waring Editor. www.bee-craft.com
The following is its contents list: High-tech beekeeping - Jérôme
Trouiller, PhD; Are you being followed? - Adrian Waring, NDB; The beekeeping
year: October - Pam Gregory, MSc, NDB; Is anyone sitting on a gold mine?- Louise
Ferguson; Wax works - Chris Richmond; You have a problem - Ann W Harman; Revisiting
the bees of the Yucatan - Adam Hart, PhD; The never-ending battle - Adrian Waring,
NDB; From the lab: queen promiscuity and
nest stability - Adam Hart, PhD; Ivy: condemned or ignored! - Ian Gorley; In
the apiary: having fun with bees (part 9) - Karl Showler; Book reviews: Starting
with Bees by Peter Gordon; Pollen – all
packed up and ready to go by Madeline M Harley; The Rock Art
of Honey Hunters by Eva Crane; Making a Bee-line by Eva Crane; Beeing
by Rosanne Daryl Thomas.
Editorial: We have another bumper issue of BeeCraft for
you this month with lots to get your teeth into, ranging from bees in the Yucatan
, the battle against wasps and a look at honey product marketing, to climate
change and the problem of bees that follow. Once again, the beekeeping season
is drawing to a close with colonies back from the heather and tucked up for winter.
Now, what are you going to do with all that spare time you will have during the
next few months? If you are of a practical bent, you can go out to the workshop
and build yourself a solar wax extractor so that you can reclaim
the wax from all those old combs during the heatwave that we
hope for in 2005. Those who like a more sedentary life when the
weather is cold and wet outside should find something to read
in our extensive book review pages. Again, there is something
for everyone, from the beginner to the (rock) artist, from the
paleontologist to the traveler. And don’t forget the one
for the cook! We welcome a new column in this issue. Adam Hart
from Sheffield University will be bringing us summaries of the
latest in bee research, starting this month with the fascinating
finding that the multiple mating of the queen leads to better
temperature regulation in the nest. As I write, Hurricane Ivan
is raging round the Caribbean and we certainly seem to be experiencing
more extremes in our weather. Some say global warming is here already
while others claim that it is too early to tell. The BBC Natural
History Unit is seeking help (see page 13) with a programme they
are filming for the 2005/2006 season. Do you have any data tucked
away in a cupboard? You, too, can contribute to the great global
warming debate! Claire Waring
|Bee Craft October 2004
|BKQ Autumn 2004
THE BEEKEEPERS QUARTERLY
BKQ Autumn 2004 No. 78
John Phipps Editor. http://www.beedata.com/bbq.htm
latest issue of the Beekeepers Quarterly is further
proof that the magazine is going from strength
to strength after merging with Bee Biz. The range
of articles are for both hobbyists and professionals.
The names of the contributors are known to all
as experts in their field from all over the world.
Beekeeping in today's world is a global affair
and knowledge of the beekeeping world is an essential
part of any beekeepers' reading and understanding
whether he or she has two hives or two thousand.
This understanding can only be gained by keeping
up to date with the experts. John Phipps, the editor,
has ensured that they are here in the Quarterly.
Read it and stay abreast of affairs in your world.
You won't be disappointed. David
KARL RITTER VON FRISCH 1886 1982
September quote came from that master
of scientific bee research, Professor Karl Von Frisch.
Born in Vienna in 1886, he studied at the Vienna University
Medical School , transferring in the third year to a zoology
course under Professor Richard Von Hertwig. His post graduate
work concerned the vision of fish and he presented a paper on
the subject for admission as a lecturer at the University of
Munich in 1912. This, and similar work on bees continued until
the First World War. His bee work took place mainly on vacations
at his family home in Austria with his two uncles professors
Franz and Sigmund Exner assisting him in his work. Over the next
few decades, most of his research was centered on the research
facilities of the University of Munich and in 1927 the first
of a series of books ‘The Dancing Bees’ from where
the quote was taken from, was published. After the Second World
War, Von Frisch accepted the chair of Zoology at the University
of Graz , but returned to Munich in 1950 and remained there until
his retirement as Emeritus Professor. From 1962 to 1964, Von
Frisch served as President of the International Bee Research
Association and in 1967 published his work ‘The dance language
and orientation of bees’.
He received many academic awards during his life including
a Nobel Prize for medicine in 1973 for work on individual and
social behavioral patterns. (His book Bees: Their Vision,
Chemical Senses and Language first published in 1950 started
me off in beekeeping. The 1968 reprint by cape Editions is
a small, bright yellow hardback book that I had been eying up for
ages in the local bookshop. I finally bought the book, read it
and was hooked. Ed).
This item detailing continueing research into the problem
of Varroa will be of interest to all beekeepers and was passed
to us by Roger White, a bee farmer and correspondent in Cyprus.
Fungi vs Varroa
Parasites known as Varroa mites
infest honey bee colonies, sucking blood from the bees and causing
weight loss, deformities, diseases, and reduced lifespan. These
mites, which can nearly destroy an entire colony within a few months,
now infest honey bee colonies across most of North America.
The honey bee is critical to maintaining natural vegetation,
transferring pollen between flowers as it collects the pollen and
nectar for its hive. And more than 130 agricultural plants in the
United States are pollinated by honey bees. Every year, beekeepers
send their best bees throughout the country to help pollinate crops,
one farm at a time. In 2003, the value they added to U.S. crops
was estimated at $10 billion, not including the honey, beeswax,
and royal jelly also produced. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics
Service reported more than 2.5 million honey bee colonies—up
1 percent from 2002—and U.S. honey production increased 5
percent, to 181 million pounds.
Since 2000, scientists in the ARS Beneficial
Insects Research Unit (BIRU) at Weslaco, Texas, have been looking
for a disease-causing agent, or pathogen, that can stop Varroa mites.
The mite has developed resistance to the only approved chemicals—fluvalinate
and coumaphos—now used for control, and coumaphos is on the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "hit list" for
possible removal from the market. So the researchers have looked
at various disease agents, tried different dosages and application
methods, and conducted toxicity tests. Finally, they selected a
strain of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae that was highly
pathogenic to Varroa mites.
This potent fungus, which also kills termites, doesn't harm bees
or affect their queen's production. To test it, the scientists
coated plastic strips with dry fungal spores and placed them inside
the hives. Since bees naturally attack anything entering their
hives, they tried to chew up the strips, spreading the spores throughout
In field trials, once the strips were inside the hives, several
bees quickly made contact with the spores. Within 5 to 10 minutes,
all the bees in the hive were exposed to the fungus, and most of
the mites on them died within 3 to 5 days. The fungus provided
excellent control of Varroa without impeding colony development
or population size.
"We tried to find a pathogen of Varroa, and we
did it!" says ARS entomologist Walker A. Jones, research leader
of the BIRU. Tests showed that Metarhizium was as effective
as fluvalinate, even 42 days after application. "Commercial
beekeepers are very edgy about using fluvalinate and coumaphos
and are eager to see this natural control get to market," Jones
This research was begun by Rosalind James, formerly with the
Weslaco unit. Lambert H.B. Kanga, former BIRU research associate
and now chair of the Entomology Department at Florida A&M University
at Tallahassee, continues to collaborate on the project. "While Metarhizium doesn't
kill as fast as fluvalinate and coumaphos, the result is the same," Kanga
says. "Metarhizium gets the job done, and we won't
have to worry about Varroa becoming resistant to the fungus."
The scientific team is now fine-tuning the strategy for transfer
to producers.—By Alfredo
Flores, Agricultural Research Service Information
This research is part of Crop Production, an ARS National Program
Honey bee populations in decline. What about wild bees?
We have previously reported on the decline of honey bee
populations and the effect this decline has on agriculture, and
many beekeepers will know that for certain crops, other bees can
and are used such as the alfalfa leafcutter bee and others. These
bees although useful are similar to honey bee colonies in that
they are managed. What do we know though about actual wild bees
and their value in pollination? Are there sufficient of them to
take up the slack left by the decline in managed honey bee colonies?
Have they enough natural habitats to make a contribution of value?
We have commented in earlier issues on the work of Conservation
biologist Claire Kremen in the USA and this report continues her
story on the value of wild bees.
Decades of disease and overuse of pesticides have put the squeeze
on populations of the domesticated honeybee. As a result, farmers
are increasingly left with fields of flowering crops that fail
to bear fruit. Since some 15 to 30 percent of the food we humans
eat directly or indirectly depend on the pollination services of
bees, scientists say the problem threatens to take some excitement
- and potentially abundance - from our diets.
Wild bees usually go unnoticed, but can provide an important
contribution to crop pollination. With honeybee populations falling,
some biologists and farmers are concerned about insufficient crop
pollination, a primary service that honeybees perform. Wild bees,
however, may help decrease the level of un-pollinated crops, as
the mites that seriously harm honeybees don't affect wild bees.
Claire Kremen, a conservation biologist at Princeton University
in New Jersey , thinks native wild bees can take some of the sting
from the honeybee decline. These wild bees buzzed North America
for thousands of years before the domesticated European variety
arrived. "We need to ensure we can keep on having [honeybees]
around, but at the same time we can reduce the risk of relying
on honeybees for crop pollination by protecting wild bees and ensuring
their pollination services can be maximized," she said. Scott
Hoffman Black is executive director of the Xerces Society, a Portland,
Oregon-based invertebrate-conservation organization. He says North
American farmers rely so heavily on domesticated honeybees today
that they often forget that pollinated food crops existed before
the domesticated honeybee was introduced. "Prior to the advent
of large-scale monoculture agriculture [the practice of growing
only one kind of plant in a given plot] in the fifties and the
use of lots of chemical pesticides, native bees and feral honeybees
pollinated everything. It wasn't an issue. People didn't cart bees
all over the country," he said. Kremen and Black's organization
are collaborating to spread the word about the role wild bees play
in crop pollination. While they acknowledge that farmers cannot
and will not revert to pre-1950s practices for the sake of wild
bees, they advocate steps to conserve and use native wild bee populations
as an insurance policy for when a honeybee shortage would otherwise
leave fields sapped of their full potential.
Scientists estimate there are about 4,000 different species of
wild bees that are native to North America . They nest in thick
grass, soil, and wood; are rarely kept in hives; and generally
do not make surplus honey or form large colonies.
While the mites that have proven so devastating to domesticated
honeybee populations cause little effect to the wild bees, pesticide
use and habitat loss are taking their toll, according to Black. "Like
any animal, native bees need a place to live," he said. "They
need nest sites and floral resources, and if they don't have them,
they won't be there."
According to Black, people can take small steps to augment wild
bee populations, such as making nesting areas available. Given
that about 70 percent of wild bees nest directly in the ground,
not in hives, this is simpler than it seems, he added.
Wild bees also need natural habitat to forage, which can include
small woodlots, areas along a stream, or even a hedgerow between
fields of crops. As an added bonus, Kremen said, wild bees help
keep wild areas healthy. "They help us maintain the natural
landscape, which provides spiritual beauty, recreational quality,
and other ecosystem services we depend on," she said.
But are wild bee populations viable? Kremen has been documenting
the extent wild bee’s play in crop pollination in California
and has found that on farms in narrow valleys surrounded by wild
vegetation the native bees can do most of the work. But this is
the exception, not the rule. The bulk of California farms are sprawling
monoculture fields in the central valley that are completely devoid
of natural bee habitat, meaning that wild bees will never be able
to provide all of a farmer's pollination needs. "In most of
the central valley - no way. The bee populations are not healthy
enough," she said. "There's a dramatic decline in bee
diversity and bee abundance when you go from the narrow valleys
to the wide central valley."
Robust wild bee populations do not thrive in the central valley's
monoculture fields but small improvements could allow some native
bees to flourish, as long as larger source areas are also restored
and protected. These small steps could include reintroduced native
vegetation to areas around tractor sheds and irrigation ditches. "If
you can get 10, 20, 30 percent of your needs met by wild bees, that
would help a lot," she said.
Frank Chappell visits the 2004 National
The National Honey Show this year
was at the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon which, for us, is
rather remote being on the other side of London. Generously,
Gordon Harradine gave Jim Grierson and I a lift in his car and so
he was the one who had to battle it out on the North Circular.
I would have preferred it if the show could have stayed at Kensington
Town Hall, but it was an expensive venue. On the other hand,
it was a bonus to be able to look at the planes in the museum
and see them close up; until you are close, you don’t
realise just how big they are. The museum is large too and this
was somewhat emphasised by having the show at one end and the
trade exhibits at the other with the lectures somewhere in between.
No one had told me that they were going to enter,
so I was delighted to find members’ names amongst the winners.
Pride of place goes to Helen who achieved a First for her Small
Honey Cakes, a Second for her Biscuits and was Highly Commended
for her Sweets (don’t forget, these are National classes).
Also winners were Kit, with a Second for his Medium Honey and
a Third for the Light, and Greg with a Second for his Gingerbread,
Highly Commended for his Set Honey in two classes, and Commended
for his Cut Comb – a class I don’t remember anyone
from the branch winning or even entering for many years. With
this encouragement maybe we will have even more entries next year.
One item of beekeeping equipment that had been
entered was a new arrangement of a hive. An aperture covered with
queen excluder had been cut in the side of the brood box which
did not have an entrance. A super alongside with an entrance had
a corresponding hole in a side wall, so that the bees could pass
through to the brood box. Additional supers were then added above
the first. The advantage claimed for this is that inspections
of the queen and brood can be carried out without having to lift
off any supers and the risk of damage to one’s back. I am
not sure what the bees would think about this arrangement but
if I understand it correctly it would appear to make swarms impossible
except when you open up the brood chamber.
The only new thing I noticed in the Trade Stands
(which seemed fewer in number than previously) was a Varrox Vaporiser
on the Thorne’s stand. This is a small cup heated by electricity
which contains oxalic acid crystals and is inserted through the
hole in the entrance block. When heated, the crystals are vaporised
and are deposited as a fine film on the bees and the surfaces
of the hive. It is claimed that this is well tolerated by the
bees, but is deadly to varroa. The heater needs a 12V supply and
as it is rated at 150W, you need a car battery as well. At a price
of £80 and about £7 for the crystals I think it unlikely
that many beekeepers will buy it.
Frank Chappell - Orpington BKA of the Kent
Back to back for my back
One of the things I intend to experiment
with this year to save injuring my back is developing a system whereby Supers
are stacked beside or behind the brood – a bit like the principle involved
in the long-hive.
Let us look for a moment at the standard approach. Typically you stack Supers
on top of the Brood box until they scrape the sky then moan like hell at the
massive weight involved in (a) taking them off to insert a clearer board (if
you do it that way) (b) putting them back onto the clearer board (c) taking
them off again and struggling fifty yards to your car with them and (d) straining
not only your back but domestic relations by forcing your spouse/partner to
help you carry them from the car. If you split them you run the risk of a massive
robbing episode; if you don’t split them – a massive osteopath
bill. In any case it is almost impossible to manage without the help of another
fit person and therefore scuppers your plan of keeping bees on a deserted island
in the Med.
Why stack them up? Despite the wisdom of the “Antients” in the
Craft, there is an obvious illogic in thinking that this is they way the bees
prefer it. In the wild, bees may well inhabit tree trunks and build upwards
from the entrance but research shows that they are just as likely to go down from
the entrance hole as up, if that is the way the tree is configured inside.
The closely related though undomesticated species Apis dorsata and A.
florea, build combs hanging downwards from tree limbs or rock
overhangs but don’t have “living quarters” underneath.
Those of you mad enough to be on a “swarm-catcher” list also
know that it is not unusual for bees to nest in the space under floorboards
(for example) where their comb is built horizontally. This is the principle
So why not go the whole hog and convert to long-hives? Because I don’t
see the need to spend all that money when I may be able to solve the same problem
with a few simple materials and some help from the Internet. I found some information
on the net on “bee condos” (now there’s a great Americanism
if ever there was one) which I think is worth adapting a little; so what I
have in mind is as follows.
Firstly get hold of a weather-resistant table – e.g. steal the patio
table from your own garden and blame burglars so that your Better Half doesn’t
come down on you like a ton of bricks.
Place your colony in its brood box at the front centre of the table (allowing
for an alighting area) over a fresh hive floor, adapted by opening up extra
entrances on either the back or on the back and sides. You will not need four
entrances at first and it is up to you to decide whether you want your first “annexe” to
the rear or by the side of the brood. Therefore, seal the two entrances you
don’t want to use straight away. Cover the brood box with crown-board
and roof in the usual way.
Now take a second floor – this time you may or may not want to increase
the number of entrances. Place this floor with its entrance hard against the
back or side entrance to the brood and insert/attach a piece of queen excluder
between the two apertures. On top of the second floor, place one or two Supers
with frames/foundation etc, crown-board or quilt and roof.
You can repeat this process sequentially as the season goes on and are only
limited by the size of the table. If you end up with supers against three sides
of the brood it is also the best possible insulation you can get for the brood.
You can decide whether to go for two-high or three-high and even think about
adding on to the sides of the Supers themselves – bearing in mind the
need to get access to all boxes. The roofs are for “summer” use
so need not be as substantial as that on the brood.
For those that still insist that bees prefer to go “up” you could
sit two-Super stacks side by side in series and site the brood box below it
(on a lower stand) with “pipes” leading into each stack. It may
look a bit Heath Robinson but who cares? It may not even work but for the curious
beekeeper that likes to have some fun and can afford to set aside a colony,
it may be an interesting project.
When it comes to clearing the Supers you can simply insert a reversed spray
entrance into the floor and if you have more than one “entrance” it
may clear even quicker by inserting spray-blocks in each entrance. Failing
that, it is much easier to insert a clearer board between the floor and two
or even three Supers than trying to do it to six or seven at a time. I also
intend to make more use of “chemical” clearers having seen their
effective use at Woodlands Farm this year, which may obviate clearer-boards
And this is the whole point of the exercise – you can lift off two
or even three full Supers a hell of a lot easier than six or eight – even
on your own.
In order to check the full validity of the results obtained from this experiment
I will need to monitor it against the production of a normal hive. Of course,
that invokes another factor i.e. would the two specific colonies normally produce
an approximately equal yield? I am not sure how you get round that one unless
you alternate the colonies over a two or three year period. Perhaps it would
be better to measure results simply by asking whether the production from the “condo” is
up to expectations compared to what one would expect from an unreconstructed
I am not saying it is as straightforward as I have written above but I can
only try it.
Mike Oliver, Bromley BKA of the Kent
Bee keeping is not cool
Discovering that I kept bees was about as hilarious as when they found
out that I had a fIrst name other than Mr. Apparently eleven-year-olds do not
consider bee-keeping to be cool. But what do they know? They're eleven.
Mind you, I hope they do know some things: I'm their maths teacher. You would
not believe the disruption to a lesson that a bee flying into the classroom
can cause. You can guarantee that no learning is going to take place until
that bee leaves the classroom. Usually I nominate the 'disruptive element'
among the students to organise the removal of the bee. They get a tremendous
sense of worth from the task. For a start, it affords them a legitimate excuse
to run over the tables and leap from chair to chair.
They know well that they must not cause any harm to the bee: 'it might be
one of sir's' they will tell you. They're good like that. Wasps do not have
such protection and are usually found flattened on the underside of their text
books. 'That bee has important work to do, it must be released immediately!
' I say as excitable students usher the hapless insect to the open window,
with the clamour and screams of various ducking girls.
Knowing that such classroom antics are reported back to over-anxious parents
who realise that bee-chasing is not part of the National Curriculum, I set
a little situation-related task, (Ofsted would love this I thought.) 'If there
are 40,000 bees in a colony, and a new colony of bees might cost you £150,
what is the cost of this one bee? I'd like the answer in pence please.' Sadly
the bell rang, announcing the fact that the students, not having packed up
their belongings, would all be late for their next lesson. I happily dismissed
them from my room like lemonade from a shaken pop-bottle, and as they ran past
me, I called ‘ ...you can do that question for homework….’
Amazingly, Jamie Baxter appeared the following morning; I don't think I'd
ever seen him in school before break time. 'I done that bee thing, Sir,' he
said proudly handing me his dad's homework. It was all neatly written out;
he'd even underlined the answer, as well as the date and the title, this chap
really did deserve the merit mark I gave him, and so, thanks to Jamie (and/or
his Dad) I can finally tell you the value of a bee.
£150 divided by 40,000.
£150 is 15000 pence,
15,000 divided by 40,000 gives you the value of a single bee at O.375p.
Therefore you get roughly three bees to a penny. Who said life wasn't cheap?
Interestingly, you will get 267 bees for a Pound but only 158 for a Euro, (remember
that come the referendum.)
Last week two distressed girls from the same maths class burst into my classroom
at lunch time with the awful news that, '….a bee flew into Mrs. Jill's
room during our French lesson, and she hit it with a ruler, and now it's dead,
and we think it's one of yours.' As you will understand, Mrs Jill and I are
no longer talking.
OF THE MONTH Back to
Do remember we welcome poetry, long or short, or ideas for poetry
from all of our readers, so do write in. This piece from ‘A
Poet’s Proverbs’ by Arthur Guthernon perfectly describes
a bee’s role in two lines.
While honey lies in Every Flower, no doubt,
It takes a Bee to get the Honey out.
OF THE MONTH Back to top
Mantecadas are very sweet, soft biscuits
made all over Spain and served up especially during the Christmas
period. During this time, many shops have a plate of these on offer
to clients together with a bottle of anis and lots of small glasses.
The idea is to stop for a drink and biscuit at each shop during your
Christmas shopping. Then you need to get a taxi home. The base of
the biscuits is pork lard which makes them soft and smooth. Here
is a recipe for one of these appropriately called ‘drunken
200g of pork lard.
Half pint of wine. (Quarter of a litre).
Some lemon zest.
Soften the pork lard if not already soft.
Add little by little
the wine and the lemon zest and the flour.
Keep stirring the mix
and add the sugar and honey.
When mixed to a thick paste put it
on a wooden tray in a round, flat shape.
Cut into round biscuit shapes
with a biscuit cutter or round wine glass.
Dust the biscuits with
flower. (You can also try dusting them with cinnamon or sugar). Place
in a medium oven for 20 minutes.
A HAND LOTION FOR CHAPPED SKIN
This recipe for
chapped skin may be appropriate for the coming cold and raw weather.
It can be used on face and neck as well as hands and feet and is
very soothing and effective.
Dissolve 1 dessertspoon (soup spoon) of honey with 1 of glycerine,
two tablespoons of witch hazel, two tablespoons of vegetable oil
and a little warmed water. Shake up everything well and bottle
it. It will keep for months and is said to be better than anything
you can buy.
FACT FILE Back
HONEY COMMERCE IN THE EU
In last month’s
issue of Apis-UK we looked at the situation regarding honey
imports into and within the European Union. This month, we
take a look at the export situation. The figures are for 2003
and so the new members of the union mentioned in the news item
above, are not included.
Table 1. Export totals from countries in
the EU to other EU countries and to countries outside the Union.
Because most of the trade in honey derives from members of
the euro zone, amounts are in metric tons and values are in
euros x 1000.
So who did we export to outside of the EU:
These figures throw up some interesting facts. The largest
buyer of European honey was Australia with 1196 tons. Nearly
all of this, some 1192 tons was from Denmark. With
prices varying enormously, the big three were Spain which
was the largest exporter to countries outside of the EU with
25% of the total with Germany a close second
with 23% and Denmark with 20%.
NOTE Back to top
We all know that for many centuries, reproduction of the
bee was a closed subject and indeed many aspects of their reproduction
such as drone congregation areas are still subjects of much
research, debate and ignorance. Bees mate on the wing far from
our site and hearing, and many theories have been put forward
in the past regarding this mysterious subject. Many writers
were completely dismayed by the subject. How to write a book
on bees without explaining their reproduction, about which
they knew nothing, was a puzzle for most of them. John Evelyn
the English diarist and man of affairs (1620 to 1706) was no
different and tried to clarify the matter in his writings ‘On
Bees’ in the ‘Elysium Britannicum’ thus:
‘We do not trouble our readers with the philosophy
of their reproduction, nor enter into the discourse of equivocal
and anomalous generations, because of swelling this chapter
whereof this is but a section, and for that we have something
further to say concerning insects. This only may not be omitted,
that those of the blood Royal are found to be a breed by
themselves, as immix’d as the Persian Magi, nor pass
they through those various and stupendious transmigrations,
that the vulgar and their other subjects do. For so it was
fit, that the Amazonian race of Melissa should be
preserved incontaminate, whom the wiser Heathen, ravish’d
with the contemplation of their works, made more ancient
than Jupiter himself, for the Phryonides ‘tis said
nursed him up with their honey.’
No readers letters this month!
BEEKEEPING COURSE 2005 Back
Avon Beekeepers Association are running their popular beekeeping
for beginners course which aims to provide the basic theory needed
before acquiring a hive of bees.
Avon Beekeeping Association
(which covers the area around Bath, Blagdon, Bristol, Keynsham
and Weston super Mare) are holding their Beginners Course over
the three Saturdays from February 26th 2005 10-4.30pm. The course
will be held at The Millennium Hall, Chew Magna, 8 miles south
of Bristol and the cost £30. For
further information contact Lyn Sykes. Tel 01125 874035 or Email:
lynsykes @ abbeyapiary.fsnet.co.uk
An Introduction to Beekeeping
Venue: Derby College Broomfield
Hall, Morley near Derby.
Saturday 7th May 2005 for eight weeks 10 am to 12 noon.
Margaret Cowley M.Sc., Cert.Ed.
Fee: £94 including
Open College Network certification.
This course will be both theoretical and practical. It is suitable
for those thinking about keeping bees or those who wish to improve
their beekeeping management. It follows the syllabus for the Basic
Certificate in Apiculture. Margaret Cowley 01332
556227 or Email: margaret @ threeroofs.org.uk
FOR YOUR DIARY Back
are welcome to forward dates
and details of their events
to the editor (by e-mail)
for incorporation on this
14th November 2004 - Brisbane Amateur Beekeepers’ Society
Open Hive Field Day
1st, 2nd April 2005 - Ulster Beekeepers' Association
61st Annual Conference
9.00am - 3.00pm @ ROCKLEA SHOWGROUNDS
CENTRE RING, Rocklea Agricultural & Industrial Association
Inc. Cnr Goburra Street & Ipswich Road, Rocklea, Brisbane
Q 4106 ENTER FROM SLIP ROAD - USE Goburra Street GATES. Enquiries:
Julie Marsh, Treasurer Phone: (07) 3216 8269 FAX: 0734205460
Email: errol_juliemarsh @ smartchat.net.au Market
Day for Used Beekeeping Equipment, Beekeeper Activities, Honey
Judging and Sales, Smoker Competition, Framing Competition, Find
the Queen Bee Competition, Honey Recipe Bake-off. **Please
deliver any equipment for sale by 8.30am ** INTER—CLUBS
COMPETITION (CERTIFICATES WILL BE AWARDED) FRAMING
COMPETITION: Each Club to provide team/s of FOUR, to assemble,
wire, and crimp four frames, using a framing/wiring board. Club
Certificate awarded on QUALITY. (Judge TBA). SMOKER
COMPETITION: $1.00 Entry. Individual Beekeepers, two at a time,
to collect smoker, fuel, light smoker, proceed to double hive,
smoke the entrance until smoke emanates from vent holes in lid.
First to complete stays in competition. The other Beekeeper is
eliminated. Heats continue, all winners go into a Smoke-off.
(Prize money determined by number of entrants. Finalist, Second
and Third Place getters receive Certificate) . FIND
THE QUEEN BEE COMPETITION: 50 cents Entry. Unmarked Queens in
2 observation frames of bees. Individual Beekeepers, two at a
time, timed to find Queen. Top 10 best times go into a playoff.
Best time wins. (Prizemoney determined by number of entrants.
Certificate to Winner) HONEY
JUDGING: (Open to all) See Schedule Attached. HONEY
RECIPE BAKE-OFF: (Open to all) Using the Recipe Attached. Bake at
Home, bring cake on the day.
Greenmount Campus, College of Agriculture
, Food and Rural Enterprise , Antrim. This year we have a new panel
of speakers from Scotland , Ireland and England , headed by Willie
Robson an extensive honey farmer and popular conference speaker,
from Berwick-on Tweed in Scotland . We also have trade stands where
you may buy your supplies for the New Season. The conference will
commence at 7.30pm on Friday 1 st April with two lectures: “Our
Bees in Winter”, Claire Chavasse . “Preparing for Spring”,
Willie Robson. It will continue from 9am Saturday, 2 nd April with: “ Queens
and Honey from the same Hive”, Ben Harden. “Effects
of EC regulations on Beekeepers”, Food Standards Agency. “New
Products”, Paul Smith ( Thorne s). “EXO-MITEtm Apis”,
Clive Newitt. “Harvesting and Marketing the Honey Crop”,
Willie Robson. “Open Forum”, Panel of experts. The
Conference will conclude with the AGM of the UBKA commencing at
4.15pm . Admission, including tea/coffee on Saturday: both days, £15
per person, £25 per family, Friday only, £10 per person, £15
per family, pay at the door. For on-site accommodation contact
Jim Fletcher on 028 9167 2163, for other accommodation contact
Walter McNeill on 028 9446 4648. A warm invitation to everyone.
9th April 2005 (Saturday) - The
Yorkshire Beekeepers Association Conference at Bishop
Burton College, Beverley East Riding of Yorkshire. "Making
the best of beekeeping knowledge to improve your practical skills" Lectures
by Michael Badger MBE, Dr Dewey Caron and Ian Craig. Download Full
Programme and Booking Form [96KB PDF]
16th April 2005 - BBKA Spring Convention and Exhibition
Further details from http://www.bbka.org.uk/convention.php
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QUOTE OF THE MONTH Back
This month’s quote is a bit more difficult, but should be
recognised by those with an interest in cowboys.
‘We’re the last real cowboys, the last
people moving livestock across the United
Who said it and about what?
here to print this page