Apis-UK Issue No.41 April 2006
Contents: Editorial; Beekeeping news; Research News; Articles: Bees and Rotating Hives Part 1 Ian Rumsey; BOLD CLAIMS (New manuka Money invented in Britain) Chad Cryer; Honey bee genetics David Eyre; Recipe of the Month Fact File: HMF; Historical Note Poem of the Month Ian Rumsey Readers Letters: Russian Beekeepers, Chris Tomlins, James Horne; Diary of events; Quote of the Month and more.

EDITORIAL Back to top

And so we are back. Some of you may have been wondering whether Apis UK had suddenly expired or that perhaps the editor had gone to the pub and failed to return. That often happens anyway, but in this particular case the reason for our non appearance for three months is that our talented and hard working web master Steve Turner was sadly unable to continue with the job. Steve worked with Apis since its inception and as you know produced a superb collection of memorable Apis editions. We are sorry to lose him but hope very much that he keeps in touch with us and sends news and views in whenever he can. In the meantime, we have a new team and an expanded correspondent list. From Ireland, Professor Ron Atkins will be keeping us informed of events and from the USA, Jim Primus will be sending us reports of affairs across the pond. Pam Hunter will keep us up to date with UK news (after all, it is Apis UK) and Ron Fisher will put the whole lot together into HTML and that is the bit that I truly don’t understand. Next month we will have some short bios of the new team members but for the moment, I thank them for volunteering their participation. I was also surprised and very pleased that so many people from all over the world also volunteered to help in any way they could. It is very pleasing to learn that Apis is appreciated so widely. Thanks for all your messages.

Here at Apis, we haven’t changed very much. You will see that we have the usual mix of articles and news items including items that are not at all to do with bees (butterflies again this month); Ian Rumsey starts a new and very interesting series of articles on gravitomagnetism and both our historical note and poem are related. David Eyre from Canada sends us some very sound advice on the subject of queens and genetics and we learn in this issue that the Kiwis no longer have a monopoly in the production of manuka honey. It has now been invented in the UK which is only right and proper. We report on a book that has been published on using honey for dieting whilst at the same time researchers tell us not to eat honey because it leads to obesity! And this in a month when scientists tell us that all that vile fish oil I’ve been stuffing myself with since the age of 0 has no benefit at all and in fact may slightly increase the risk of heart attack!.

On a more serious note, can honey bees be a threat to pollination? Can bees solve colour puzzles that modern computers cannot? See below for the answers. A non beekeeping friend of mine once visited me in Spain and suitably attired he came to see my bees at the home apiary. He took photos etc and marvelled at how the bees seemed to leave me alone and only go for him and his camera. (I was a bit surprised at how well they behaved that day as well). He was sure that of course the bees recognised me as their beekeeper and so left me alone and treated him as a stranger to be chased off. Even though I told him that it was a nonsense to think that, he was not convinced. Maybe he was right though. It now seems that bees can recognise us Heaven forbid! Again, see below and keep your disguises on.

To all our readers, thanks for taking up the magazine again and let us know of any changes you may think would improve our efforts, or simply keep in touch and tell us what is going on in the photo below.

David Cramp. Editor.

NEWS Back to top

Agriculture is big in New Zealand, a country that prides itself on the quality of its products and the know-how that goes into those products. It is no surprise than that the ravages of the tiny varroa mite are beginning to worry the sector because without wanting to over dramatise the situation, the whole future of New Zealand's pastoral farming industry, not just honey production, is under a huge threat from varroa.

In the North Island, if the pastoral industry does not start to do something about the loss of bees for clover pollination now, in 10 years it will be in crisis, says East Coast beekeeper Bill Savage. "The feral colonies that hill-country farmers relied on for clover pollination are gone from this region and in about 10 years there will be a huge problem."

Without clover, nitrogen is not being fixed to grow the grass. Free nitrogen fertiliser from clover is the key competitive advantage that the pastoral industry, the backbone of New Zealand's economy, has over the rest of the world. "Now there is no natural pollination left," he says. "I don't know what will happen in the future."

As long as the mite does not become resistant to varroa treatments, which is happening overseas, horticulturists will not have a big problem, because they have always paid to have managed hives, rather than naturally occurring feral hives, put in for pollination.

The cost of putting in managed hives for manuka honey is between $300 and $400 a hive, while the cost for clover honey is about $150. Even if farmers are prepared to pay, there are not enough managed hives in the Gisborne region to cover even a quarter of the area. Since the arrival of the varroa mite, it is estimated that managed hives in the upper North Island have decreased by 25,000. "We would not even have one-tenth of the needs of this district in the future, and then there are issues of how to get those hives into the back country of stations," he says. "Varroa has been perceived as a beekeeper problem and as a horticulture problem, but it is a pastoral problem. That is the industry that will suffer more than anything else."

Overseas, where varroa has been for many years, it has been found that there is a 10-year gap after the mite arrives before the clover seed bank in the ground is used up, says Savage.

"In this sort of country, 90 per cent of clover dries out because we are summer dry, so the seed in the ground now will germinate during the next 10 years. That is the seed bank we have built up over the last 100 years. Then there's nothing left."

Farmers will have to look at flying clover seed over pasture every year or nitrogen fertiliser to replace the nitrogen that clover is not fixing. Nor will farmers get the stock growth rates without the protein-rich high-digestibility feed that clover provides, he says. "That is what the pastoral system in New Zealand works on – the fact that we can grow good clover, which means we don't have to put nitrogen on. That's what makes us competitive and we would become a high-cost producer instead of a low-cost producer."

New Antibiotic Approved for Treating AFB in the USA
American beekeepers will soon have a new antibiotic with which to protect their colonies from American foulbrood disease, thanks to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) studies that paved the way for the compound's regulatory approval.

TYLAN Soluble (tylosin tartrate), produced by Elanco Animal Health of Greenfield, Ind., was approved for use October 20 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, following the agency's review of research data compiled by scientists with the ARS Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md.

American foulbrood is among the most widespread and devastating diseases of honey bees. Caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, the disease kills young bee larvae and transforms their remains into dark, shriveled ropes or "scales." These contain billions of spores that are easily spread by nurse bees. Although American foulbrood poses no human danger, severe outbreaks can weaken or kill entire bee colonies, according to Mark Feldlaufer, who leads the ARS Beltsville bee lab.

Before tylosin tartrate, only one other antibiotic, oxytetracycline hydrochloride (Terramycin), was available for use against American foulbrood. However, reliance on this one compound has prompted the emergence of resistant strains of American foulbrood.

Tylosin tartrate is already approved for therapeutic use in chickens and swine, and as a feed-efficiency aid in turkeys. Its approval for honey bees marks a first for a so-called minor animal species. Feldlaufer's team made this approval possible by furnishing the FDA with a wealth of information on tylosin tartrate's field efficacy and safety, both for honey bees and humans. For example, the team determined the necessary dosage, application methods and timing of treatment in honey bee hives.

Although the drug approval labels honey bees as a "minor animal species," the bee's importance to U.S. agriculture is hardly minor. By one estimate, honey bee pollination of apples, almonds, blueberries and many other agricultural crops results in yield and quality improvements valued at more than $14 billion annually.

Animal Antibiotic Found in Honey
The Independent (UK), 2/2/2006

Traces of an antibiotic were found in honey sold in the UK, according to a Which? report. Tests showed residues of tylosin in three out of 20 jars. The antibiotic is licensed to treat animals but not bees. The consumer organisation said the antibiotic posed no health threat but that honey should be a pure food.

See: www.apitherapynews.com

Central Association Weekend – Stratford-upon-Avon Nov.11-13. Highlights

This was a stimulating and very social conference, with a great range of papers.

Maurice Field (Surrey) gave two talks, the first one on what needs to be considered if increasing from a small garden apiary to a larger concern. This included the need for large premises, transport, insurance, good markets etc. etc. I decided that this sounded like very hard work and was beyond me! His second talk was on how to reduce stress (to the bees!) in the apiary; this led to much lively discussion. An important point for the new bee-keeper is how stressful it is to keep opening hives and pulling out all the frames when a quick look at just a few would do!

Dave Chandler (HRI) gave an excellent update of work on the fungal control of varroa. The results are looking good and the possibility of progressing this to a product is getting closer. Some strains of fungi have been shown to have no adverse effects on bees but to grow on the mite and kill it. Work is concentrating now on how to get the fungal spores to the bees efficiently and on confirming the lack of effect of the fungus on other beneficial species.

John McMullan (Ireland) gave a fascinating talk on acarine, a much neglected area. He had some beautiful (but frightening) microphotographs showing large numbers of mites and their eggs in the trachea of bees. He said that colonies can be very heavily infested but still appear very healthy in the late summer and autumn. It is only during the winter that the infestation becomes a problem as the temperature of the brood falls and the numbers of the bees reduce. Many of these colonies will die by the early spring. Some infestations are accompanied by a paralysis virus and these bees will show symptoms (K wing) and look unwell.

Juliet Osborne (Rothamsted) described work on determining the foraging distances of bumble bees. They used various powdered dyes that the bees had to walk through and also a DNA technique which involved snipping a tiny bit of the foot. They also tried to collect pollen but the pollen-trapping techniques used with honey bees couldn’t be used as bumbles vary in sizes. They had to be narcotised temporarily and the pollen loads removed physically. Using these three techniques it was shown that bumble bees can forage up to about 1.5 km. but less than 2 km.

For further information about the Central Association of beekeepers see www.cabk.org.uk


Information Sheet no. 2

Melbourne, Australia 9 - 14 September, 2007

Welcome to the second in our series of Information Sheets. This time, I thought we might have a look at the venue, Melbourne.

For those of you who are in Commonwealth Countries, you will realise that the Commonwealth Games are being held in Melbourne in March this year. When you see some of the great venues on the television, remember Melbourne is the venue for Apimondia 2007 in September, 2007.

There are many things to do in Melbourne and I am sure you will need to set aside some time either side of Apimondia 2007 to see these attractions. Have a look at our website, www.apimondia2007.com and go to the “About Melbourne” section.

There is a great range of accommodation from luxury to backpackers and all types in between. The details will appear on the website at a later date.

From Melbourne, you can go out into the country side and see beekeepers at work. If you know a beekeeper, line up a visit with them before or after Apimondia. They will give you a friendly Australian welcome and be only too pleased to show you how we keep bees in Australia.

We love our sport here in Australia. It will be too early for those wanting to see some cricket but Australian Rules Football will be in semi-final mode in Melbourne in September. For those who prefer the round ball, there is soccer to see and remember Australia has qualified for the World Cup in Germany in June this year so our standard of play is high.

Apimondia 2007 will be an event that lives in your memory long after it finishes. So plan to be there.

Contact:- Contact:- Trevor Weatherhead (Organising Committee)

Information released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service USDA Washington, D.C.

United States Honey Production Down 5 Percent
Honey production in 2005 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 175 million pounds, down 5 percent from 2004. There were 2.41 million colonies producing honey in 2005, down 6 percent from 2004. Yield per colony averaged 72.5 pounds, up 1 percent from the 71.8 pounds in 2004. Colonies which produced honey in more than one State were counted in each State where the honey was produced, therefore yields per colony may be understated. Colonies were not included if honey was not harvested. Producer honey stocks were 62.4 million pounds on December 15, 2005, up 2 percent from a year earlier. Stocks held by producers exclude stocks held under the commodity loan program.

Honey Prices Down 15 Percent
Honey prices decreased during 2005 to 90.4 cents, down 15 percent from 106.9 cents in 2004. Prices are based on retail sales by producers and sales to private processors and cooperatives. State level honey prices reflect the portions of honey sold through retail, co-op and private channels. Honey prices for each color class are derived by weighing quantities sold for each marketing channel. Honey prices for 2005 were lower than the previous year for all colour class totals.

Special Note The procedure and methodology used in creating the price estimates for this report were modified to more accurately reflect each individual color class within the market channel. These changes to the honey program, along with additional sales of 2004 crop honey, resulted in revisions to the 2004 price estimates


A note from the authors.


You may be unaware that on January 1st 2006 a book was published by Souvenir Press (London), called The Hibernation Diet. This book will have a dramatic impact on sales of honey in the UK and beyond. The book, which advocates taking honey before bed, to optimise fat loss during sleep, is already causing unprecedented levels of interest from the media prior to publication.

This information has leaked out into the athletic community nationally and has already impacted on honey sales nationally, in 2005.  In January 2005, a few articles in the press about this approach to weight loss, before the book was written, caused some supermarkets in Scotland to have their shelves cleared of honey.

 The book arose out of the authors’ work in sports nutrition, whereby they have been advising athletes for some years to take honey prior to bed to optimise recovery.  Recovery biology is exclusively fat burning biology and arising from this, the authors developed a strategy for optimising fat burning during sleep by fuelling the liver prior to bed, culminating in the book (The Hibernation Diet). Honey, which contains fructose, is ideal for this purpose.

The publicity agents for this revolutionary book are Midas, the company who handled publicity for the Atkins Diet. The authors can testify that, not only does the diet work, but the public love the strategy and tune in immediately and enthusiastically, whenever the theory is explained to them. Simply, if the liver is fuelled prior to bed, recovery hormones are released to do repair, regeneration and construction of new tissue. These hormones are exclusively fat burning hormones. For this to occur, blood glucose must be stable, and for this to occur, the liver must be fuelled prior to bed.

Up to now, few do this, the liver depletes, blood glucose falls and adrenal stress hormones, which do not burn, fat are released.

The book is based on several years of research into recover biology and although the theory and the biological principles it unitises are quite simple, they have been ignored up to now, not only by the medical profession, but also by those who offer advice to would-be dieters. For this reason the impact will be all the greater.

It is important therefore that the honey industry, at each level, production, supply and retail, are aware of this in advance, so that they can maximise the potential impact on sales in 2006 and prepare for a quite amazing and dramatic year ahead.

As authors of the book we very much want the book to be discussed at every level within the honey industry, so that a mutually beneficial dynamic may develop whereby sales of the book drive forward sales of honey and sales of honey drive forward sales of the book.

Mike and Stuart McInnes (authors) Hibernation Diet.
The authors may be contacted on 0131 622 5101 or 0141 847 0565
or info@hibernationdiet.com
Souvenir Press Ltd
43 Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3PB
020 7580 9307

Midas Public Relations
7-8 Kendrick Mews
London SW7 3HG
020 7584 7474

No one at Apis UK has put any of this to the test. The above is for your information only. Ed.


Bees Solve Complex Colour Puzzles
Bees have a much more sophisticated visual system than previously thought, according to a new UCL (University College London) study in which bees were able to solve complicated colour puzzles. The findings shed light on how brains resolve one of the most difficult challenges of vision – namely, recognizing different surfaces under different colours of illumination – by suggesting that bees solve this problem using their experience with meaningful colour relationships between objects in a scene. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may one day lead to the design of autonomous robotic systems.

In the UCL study, scientists from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology trained bumblebees to find artificial flowers of a particular colour using a nectar reward. They then tested the bees’ ability to find the same flowers in scenes that were simultaneously illuminated by four differently coloured lights – UV-yellow, blue, yellow and green. To solve this puzzle, the bees had to effectively segment the scene into its different regions of illumination, and then find the correct flowers within each region.

Dr Beau Lotto of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology says: “Although we knew that bees were able to recognise flowers under different global lights, we didn’t know whether they could also do this under more complicated conditions, ones that are in fact more typical in nature, such as dappled light across a woodland floor.

“When all the surfaces in a scene are under the same light, identifying a particular surface when the global illumination changes is in principle an easy problem to solve, since all vision needs to do is adapt itself to the scene’s average colour, a bit like adapting to the darkness of a cinema. Far more difficult is to recognise the surface or object under multiple lights simultaneously, since adapting to the scene’s average colour – which was previously thought to be the strategy used by bees – won’t work.”

“Our study shows that the tiny brain of the bee can not only solve this difficult task, which the most sophisticated computers still can’t resolve, but suggests they do so by using the colour relationships between objects in a scene that were statistically most useful in their past experience. Because this same strategy is also used by humans, our work on bees, in conjunction with our work on humans, may enable us to understand the general principles by which any visual system (natural or artificial) can construct useful behaviour from ambiguous sensory information. ‘One long-term aim of our research is to exploit this understanding to build seeing robots that, like the bee with its mere one million neurons, can learn to find a simple flower in a meadow, which no machine can do at present. Our lab has reconstructed our specially designed bee flight arena – known as the Bee Matrix – in the virtual world, where virtual autonomous bees are ‘evolving’ under exactly the same conditions as those experienced by our real bees.”

This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University College London


Honeybees may look pretty much all alike to us. But it seems we may not look all alike to them. A study has found that they can learn to recognize human faces in photos, and remember them for at least two days. The findings toss new uncertainty into a long-studied question that some scientists considered largely settled, the researchers say: how humans themselves recognize faces. The results also may help lead to better face-recognition software, developed through study of the insect brain, the scientists added.

Many researchers traditionally believed facial recognition required a large brain, and possibly a specialized area of that organ dedicated to processing face information. The bee finding casts doubt on that, said Adrian G. Dyer, the lead researcher in the study. He recalls that when he made the discovery, it startled him so much that he called out to a colleague, telling her to come quickly because “no one’s going to believe it—and bring a camera!”

Dyer said that to his knowledge, the finding is the first time an invertebrate has shown ability to recognize faces of other species. But not all bees were up to the task: some flunked it, he said, although this seemed due more to a failure to grasp how the experiment worked than to poor facial recognition specifically.

In the bee study, reported in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, Dyer and two colleagues presented honeybees with photos of human faces taken from a standard human psychology test. The photos had similar lighting, background colors and sizes and included only the face and neck to avoid having the insects make judgments based on the clothing. In some cases, the people in the pictures themselves looked similar.

The researchers, with Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, tried to train the bees to realize that a photo of one man had a drop of a sugary liquid next to it. Different photos came with a drop of bitter liquid instead. A few bees apparently failed to realize that they should pay attention to the photos at all. But five bees learned to fly toward the photo horizontally in such a way that they could get a good look at it, Dyer reported. In fact, these bees tended to hover a few centimeters in front of the image for a while before deciding where to land. The bees learned to distinguish the correct face from the wrong one with better than 80 percent accuracy, even when the faces were similar, and regardless of where the photos were placed, the researchers found. Also, just like humans, the bees performed worse when the faces were flipped upside-down.

“This is evidence that face recognition requires neither a specialised neuronal [brain] circuitry nor a fundamentally advanced nervous system,” the researchers wrote, noting that the test they used was one for which even humans have some difficulty. Moreover, “Two bees tested two days after the initial training retained the information in long-term memory,” they wrote. One scored about 94 percent on the first day and 79 percent two days later; the second bee’s score dropped from about 87 to 76 percent during the same time frame.

The researchers also checked whether bees performed better for faces that humans judged as being more different. This seemed to be the case, they found, but the result didn’t reach statistical significance. The bees probably don’t understand what a human face is, Dyer said in an email. “To the bees the faces were spatial patterns (or strange looking flowers),” he added.

Bees are famous for their pattern-recognition abilities, which scientists believe evolved in order to discriminate among flowers. As social insects, they can also tell apart their hivemates. But the new study shows that they can recognize human faces better than some humans can—with one-ten thousandth of the brain cells.

This raises the question of how bees recognize faces, and if so, whether they do it differently from the way we do it, Dyer and colleagues wrote. Studies suggest small children recognize faces by picking out specific features that are easy to recognize, whereas adults see the interrelationships among facial features. Bees seem to show aspects of both strategies depending on the study, the researchers added.

The findings cast doubt on the belief among some researchers that the human brain has a specialized area for face recognition, Dyer and colleagues said. Neuroscientists point to an area called the fusiform gyrus, which tends to show increased activity during face-viewing, as serving this purpose. But the bee finding suggests “the human brain may not need to have a visual area specific for the recognition of faces,” Dyer and colleagues wrote. That may be helpful to researchers who develop face-recognition technologies to be used for security at airports and other locations, Dyer noted. The United States is investing heavily in such systems, but they still make many mistakes.

Already, the way that bees navigate is being used to design “autonomous aircraft that can fly in remote areas without the need for radio contact or satellite navigation,” Dyer wrote in the email. “We show that the miniature brain can definitely recognize faces, and if in the future we can work out the mechanisms by which this is achieved,” this might suggest ideas for improved face recognition technologies.

Dyer said that if bees can learn to recognize humans in photos, then they reasonably might also be able to recognize real-life faces. On the other hand, he remarked, this probably isn’t the explanation for an adage popular in some parts of the world—that you shouldn’t kill a bee because its nestmates will remember and come after you.

We were recently asked whether the sizes of drone and queen bees had any effect on the quality of the mating. This interesting German research published in 2003 shows that for drones at least, size is important.

Sperm numbers in drone honeybees (Apis mellifera) depend on body size Apidologie: 34 (2003) 577-584
Helge Schlüns*, Ellen A. Schlüns*, Job van Praagh** and F.A. Moritz*

* Institut für Zoologie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Kröllwitzer Str. 44, 06099 Halle (Saale), Germany
** Niedersächsisches Landesinstitut für Bienenkunde Celle, Herzogin-Eleonore-Allee 5, 29221 Celle, Germany

In this study, the effect of drone honeybee’s body size on semen production was evaluated. In the same colonies, drones were either reared in drone cells (large drones) or in worker cells (small drones). Wing lengths (size indicator) and sperm numbers of small and large drones were compared. Small drones (~13% reduced wing size) produce significantly fewer spermatozoa ( million) than normally sized drones ( million spermatozoa). There is a significant positive correlation between sperm number and wing size within the small drones and in both groups combined. In the large group alone no correlation was found. The rearing investment per spermatozoon is lower for small than for normally sized drones because small drones produce more spermatozoa in relation to their body weight. Since colonies usually produce large drones, the enhanced investment must be outweighed by a mating advantage of large drones.

Pollination Networks Key To Ecosystem Sustainability

As animal extinctions continue at the rate of one every 16 years, it’s unclear how declining biodiversity will disturb ecosystem dynamics. Of special concern are the pollinators, essential players in the reproductive biology of plants, the earth’s primary producers. These mutually beneficial relationships are sometimes so specialized that the loss of one species threatens the existence of the other, raising troubling questions about the likely consequences of declining diversity in pollination networks. In a new study published in the open access journal PLoS Biology, Colin Fontaine et al. tackled this question by experimentally manipulating plant and pollinator interactions under natural conditions. Their findings suggest that loss of biodiversity in pollination networks may threaten the persistence of plant communities. Loss of biodiversity in pollination networks may threaten the persistence of plant communities.

For their study, the authors chose plants with easy and harder access to food rewards—three open-flower and three tubular-flower species—and insects with short and longer mouthparts—three syrphid fly and three bumblebee species. What happened? Not surprisingly, the pollinators stuck to their preferred plant: syrphids visited mostly open flowers, and bees visited mostly tubular flowers. Bees can pollinate open flowers but prefer tubular flowers when they have the choice, suggesting that bees may not fill a void left by a different pollinator. The presence of both pollinators allowed more appropriate pairings between insects and flowers—each performing a complementary role—leading to increased pollination efficiency and plant reproductive success.

While the study offers an admittedly pared down view of pollination networks, it demonstrates the value of studying the functional effects of pollination networks in the field. These results show that losing a species affects plant–pollinator communities, and that such losses may ultimately trigger further reductions in biodiversity, possibly reverberating through the food chain. With as many as 70% of plant species dependent on animal pollinators and at least 82 mammalian pollinator species and 103 bird pollinator species considered threatened or extinct, this is sobering news.

Reference: Fontaine C, Dajoz I, Meriguet J, Loreau M (2006): Functional diversity of plant–pollinator interaction webs enhances the persistence of plant communities. PLoS Biol 4(1): e1.

This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Public Library of Science in the USA.

University of Florida researchers have identified one possible

reason for rising obesity rates, and it all starts with fructose, found in fruit, honey, table sugar and other sweeteners, and in many processed foods.

Fructose may trick you into thinking you are hungrier than you should be, say the scientists, whose studies in animals have revealed its role in a biochemical chain reaction that triggers weight gain and other features of metabolic syndrome - the main precursor to type 2 diabetes. In related research, they also prevented rats from packing on the pounds by interrupting the way their bodies processed this simple sugar, even when the animals continued to consume it.

The findings, reported in the December issue of Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology and in this month’s online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology, add to growing evidence implicating fructose in the obesity epidemic and could influence future dietary guidelines. UF researchers are now studying whether the same mechanism is involved in people. “There may be more than just the common concept that the reason a

person gets fat is because they eat too many calories and they don’t do enough exercise,” said Richard J. Johnson, M.D., the J. Robert Cade professor of nephrology and chief of nephrology, hypertension and transplantation at UF’s College of Medicine. “And although genetic predispositions are obviously important, there’s some major environmental force driving this process. Our data suggest certain foods and, in particular, fructose, may actually speed the process for a person to become obese.”

Physical inactivity, increased caloric intake and consumption of high-fat foods undoubtedly account for part of the problem, Johnson said. But Americans are feasting on more fructose than ever. It’s in soft drinks, jellies, pastries, ketchup and table sugar, among other foods, and is the key component in high fructose corn syrup, a sugar substitute introduced in the early 1970s. Since then, fructose intake has soared more than 30 percent, and the number of people with metabolic syndrome has more than doubled worldwide, to more than 55 million in the United States alone, Johnson said. The condition, characterized by insulin resistance, obesity and elevated triglyceride levels in the blood, is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. “If you feed fructose to animals they rapidly become obese, with all features of the metabolic syndrome, so there is this strong causal link,” Johnson said, “And a high-fructose intake has been shown to induce certain features of the metabolic syndrome pretty rapidly in people.”

Now UF research implicates a rise in uric acid in the bloodstream that occurs after fructose is consumed, Johnson said. That temporary spike blocks the action of insulin, which typically regulates how body cells use and store sugar and other food nutrients for energy. If uric acid levels are frequently elevated, over time features of metabolic syndrome may develop, including high blood pressure, obesity and elevated blood cholesterol levels.

How Butterflies Fly Thousands Of Miles Without Getting Lost Revealed

In past issues of Apis UK we have talked about butterflies and in the last edition we learned how they invented the LED millions of years before man. Now in this interesting piece of research we learn that while we are still trying to put navigational systems into cars, the butterfly is again miles in advance of us. And indeed

Research by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem shows that monarch butterflies have managed for millennia to navigate their way for a distance of some 3000 miles (4800 kilometres) each autumn from Canada to Mexico (and vice-versa in the spring) without losing their way.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

The phenomenon of long-range bird migration is a well-known one, but not in the insect world. Also, among birds their migration route is a round-trip one, which they make more than once in their lifetimes, while for the monarch it is strictly a one-way trip for each butterfly. How do these creatures do it?

The mystery of the mechanisms involved in this remarkable phenomenon has been resolved by a team of scientists who did this by exploring the infinitesimal butterfly brain and eye tissues to uncover new insights into the biological machinery that directs this delicate creature on its lengthy flight path.

The research team, led by Prof. Steven Reppert of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, included Dr. Oren Froy, now of the Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Others involved were from the Czech Academy of Sciences and the University of California, Irvine. Their latest findings were published in a recent issue of Neuron magazine, constituting a continuation of their earlier work, published in the journal Science.

While light in general is essential to the functioning of the “biological clock” in the butterfly brain – governing its metabolic cycles, including its “signal” to migrate—the researchers discovered that it is specifically the ultraviolet band of light that is crucial to the creature’s orientation. The butterflies have special photoreceptors for ultraviolet (UV) light in their eyes which provide them with their sense of direction. They proved that this ultraviolet “navigation” is crucial by placing butterflies in a “flight” simulator. When a UV light filter was used in the simulator, the butterflies lost their orientation Further probing revealed a key wiring connection between the light-detecting navigation sensors in the butterfly’s eye and its brain clock Thus, it was shown that input from two interconnected systems – UV light detection in the eye and the biological clock in the brain—together guide the butterflies “straight and true” to their destination at the appointed times in their two-month migration over thousands of miles/kilometers.

ARTICLES Back to top

Bees and Rotating Hives: Part 1
In an attempt to obtain further information regarding the possibility that comb alignment indicates the direction of approach of the gravitomagnetic field, a demonstration that would manipulate this oncoming force, in a predetermined and natural manner, may well shed further light upon the subject in hand.

Diagram refers

From previous experience of unwittingly changing direction of the inner hive whilst comb was being built, (photo above refers) it would appear that once a section of comb is attached to the roof of the box, all of the comb built under this section remains in that alignment, irrespective of any future box manipulation. However, where there is room for the comb to be extended along the roof, this extension will take the new East-West alignment when the box has experienced further rotation.

A theoretical example of a daily 30 degree rotation is shown below.


Ian Rumsey

BOLD CLAIMS (New manuka Money invented in Britain). It was my turn to man the stall. It was hot: Lord it was hot. Yet Terry had insisted that I must wear my full bee-keeping outfit and this fuelled my already bad mood. There had been a constant flow of people to the stall and as usual there was much interest in the observation hive. I may as well have been on a loop, explaining every two minutes the same thing again and again and again. I was half way through that all-too overused phrase, it’s very good for hay fever sufferers, when I sneezed. ‘Actually,’ I said offering a tissue to the lady who I’d sneezed over and wondering how I was going to clean the inside of my veil, ‘I am probably the world’s worst afflictee of hay fever. I have eaten twice my own body weight in local honey this year but I am still sneezing, wheezing and oozing as badly as ever.’

And then in an unusual moment of honesty I added, ‘Honey promotion is infectious, I can’t help myself. Bee-keepers aren’t opposed to making a few bold claims now and then.’ I offered a jar to the woman that I had sneezed over and said, ‘This is local honey, madam, and you eat it with a spoon. You can add it to your tea if you must, or drizzle it on your cornflakes. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can mix it with yoghurt and have a sickeningly healthy breakfast with muesli or some other horse food. It’s high in calories, and if you eat too much it’s going to make you fatter, madam. You can rub it in your hair, mix it with sand and avocado and exfoliate with it if you want. Add it to your bath water with essential oils. Use it in the summer as it cuts out the harmful rays from the sun. Generally it will make you live much much longer.’ The lady hurried off.

As she left, an older gentleman approached the stand, he was dressed very smartly in a dark suit despite the weather. ‘Hello,’ he extended jovially, ‘Have you any Manuka honey?’ The camel in my mind’s eye gave-way under this final sticky straw that had been placed upon its back. ‘I thought you were a Manuka honey eater when I first saw you. Will you be happy when our local honey industry lies in ruins? Why on earth do you want honey from New Zealand when we’ve plenty of the stuff right here? I know your sort, sitting there under your patio heater in your woollen jumper feeling all environmental doing your bit for the greenhouse effect, refusing to eat British beef, sipping mineral water that has been driven here from the French Alps.’ ‘But it has medicinal properties,’ stammered the man, somewhat taken aback. ‘It’s good for wounds and things,’

I looked sky-ward. ‘So when you are being rushed into casualty I expect you will be pleading with the nursing staff to apply nothing but honey to your flesh wounds. Well, maybe they’ll fill your drip with the stuff. Medicinal properties,’ I snorted, ‘Germolene and Savalon weren’t invented for a laugh you know.’ ‘…well, er… I wonder if you have any soap that has honey in it,’ the man floundered. ‘A generation ago, you would have been proud of a well-starched shirt and bed sheets that creaked when you lay on them, and now you come to my stall all air-conditioned and pampered, looking for something that will soften your hands. Soap containing honey! Unbelievable!’

The man began to edge sideways in a bid to escape my tirade. ‘Well this time, Sir, you are in luck. If its Manuka honey you want, this is the nearest thing to Manuka honey you’ll get. Reaching down behind the table I produced a 1lb jar of unlabelled honey. ‘You may try this.’ I said offering the jar to the gentleman who looked at the jar suspiciously. ‘What is it?’ ‘Oh, it’s similar to Manuka honey, and like Manuka honey it is very rich in Eucalyptus oil.’ The man dipped a plastic spatula into the jar and tasted it. ‘My goodness, that’s perfect, better than the last lot I bought.’ ‘You understand,’ I said, ‘that this is a premium product, and therefore commands a higher price than my other honey: a jar that size costs £11.

I was lucky that he was no longer willing to ask too many questions. I had recently been experimenting with making my own Manuka honey and found that I could produce a very reasonable product using four parts honey and a teaspoon of Vicks Vapour™ rub. The ointment contains the same eucalyptus oil which gives Manuka honey that particular flavour that simple people so enjoy. I am still not sure if it is the flavour of this honey which attracts so much interest, it might be the bold claim of its medicinal property but more likely it is the extortionate price that reassures people of its supposed quality.

Having relieved the gentlemen of his £11, I pulled off my sweaty bee-keeping gloves and left the tent. Behind me I heard Roger Tilley greeting a new customer; ‘it’s very good if you have hayfever…’ I heard him saying.

Honey bee genetics: The Ultimate Selection Tool.
In this article an undoubted master of his craft offers us advice and instruction on one aspect of bee genetics and breeding

I have been breeding queens for approximately 20 years, both for my own use and as a commercial undertaking, recently I have concluded that our general queen selection methods are badly flawed. The general methods of selecting the top hive to use as a breeder, honey gathering, temper and all the other criteria used are virtually a waste of time. Harsh words, but true when you consider the next question.

My question was, how could sister queens produce such differing results? Some hives produce large amounts of honey while others gather very little by comparison, other hives use large amounts of propolis and burr comb and others become super defensive, while at the same time the sister queen would be the complete opposite. This lack of predictable results has to be a major concern, without predictability, it becomes impossible to anticipate or achieve good results.

With the proliferation of the Internet I started ‘reading around’ looking for the information I was missing and came across a number of articles on Morphometry and bee selection. This had to be the final piece of the puzzle for us. We no longer had to rely on the old standard selection tools alone, we could now see what our bees were made of, and on examination it is quite frightening.

I had always believed we had a good strain selection of A.m.l (Italians) with the darker genes we had bred in from ‘Buckfast’ thought we had good bees. We were persuaded to add the darker genes as “they will calm down the defensive attitude of your bees”. Nothing could have be further from the truth, all we did was ‘mongrelize’ our bees and they became impossible to handle, super defensive and downright nasty.

They say that ‘hindsight is 20/20 vision’ and ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ how true that is! Looking back on our actions we had taken the equivalent of a Great Dane bred it to a Yorkshire Terrier and expected a Golden Retriever, because at the time we didn’t know any better, we had produced a breeder’s nightmare,. Now we know, you cannot take two mongrel strains, breed them together and expect purity or predictability in the offspring, it is not genetically possible, but it is what beekeepers and queen breeders are doing worldwide and have been doing since time immemorial.

Then came the second question. How to remove those dark genes and get back to the better strain of bees we had before? Under the old methods, it would be virtually impossible. You cannot determine what strain your bees are just by looking, colour on its own is not a determining factor, in effect, you have to get under the skin and find out what genes are in your bees make up. We could use DNA testing, but the cost is prohibitive for the smaller queen breeders.

For those not familiar with Morphometry, it is a body measurement method, in this case using wing veins and other criteria to produce a series of data readings from a bee sample of the hive under test. Using a series of physical characteristics which have been enumerated it is possible to determine the make-up of a hive and its degree of hybridization or as I prefer ‘mongrelisation’.

For a more definitive explanation visit www.beeworks.com/morphometry/index.htm the article explains with diagrams, scattergrams and frequency charts, both method and our results to date.

In practice, a test sample of 30-bees will give answers as to the degree of mixed genes in each hive. For example if the results show a 15-15 mix, then you will find just half of the bees have the characteristics you’re looking for. On examining a frame from this hive you’ll find only half of the bees will exhibit the colours and behaviour that you are testing for. Obviously as these numbers change then the degree of mongrelization will also change and subject to the strain of bees you prefer, then you should select the numbers which reflect your requirement and preference.

When we first started testing we had numbers as high as 70-80% dark gene characteristics, whereas we were looking for a higher percentage of lighter bee numbers. With careful testing, ruthless culling of queens, which even though their results were satisfactory their Morphometry numbers were not, we have managed to produce better numbers and higher quality queens. It is interesting in as much that now we are seeing numbers as high as 95-98% Italian, and the subsequent quality is remarkably better.

Over the years we have noted and recorded the hives with unsatisfactory numbers. These are the queens with high dark bee numbers and the oddities they produce. It is invariably these hives with high mongrel numbers that failed to perform to our expectations. We have followed hives that produced enormous amounts of pollen, to the point the hives were plugged and produced small amounts of brood, for lack of space. Poor cell builders, just incapable of producing a reasonable amount of cells. Poor wax makers who couldn’t draw straight wax no matter what you did with them. Super defensive hives, where on opening them all you got was a veil full of bees. That most detestable habit of ‘following’, whining round your head long after the hive was closed after the manipulation.

There are quite literally dozens of poor traits which are directly attributed to crossed genes and the numbers produced over a number of years do confirm them.

I remember, as a child of 12 years old helping my old mentor with his bees, he wore a 3 piece suit, complete with waistcoat, a trilby hat, and smoked a pipe, The only protection was a thin veil negligently tucked into his jacket. The bees were totally different than today’s, stinging incidents were unknown and folks weren’t scared by the word ‘bees’. Whereas today, mention the word ‘bees’ and the first is a look of horror and the question “Are they killer bees? because I am allergic to bees”! I remember taking my first swarm at that age, in a cardboard box, rushing home on my bicycle to hive them and being delighted, watching them run in.

Beekeepers today have to use a suit of armour, tape around the ankles and thick heavy gloves in the hope of preventing a stinging attack. Beekeeping should be a pleasure, not a punishment.

I firmly believe, we have allowed through mismanagement, lack of knowledge and even laziness in the beekeeping world, our bees to be crossed in the breeding process to a point it is almost impossible to know what is really in their make-up. This has resulted in the strangest results, bees that don’t gather honey, small clusters, poor wintering, re-queening troubles, bees that don’t even want to make wax, the list is endless. The latest complaint to cross my desk, absconding, I believe this is all the result of mongrelizing.

The other side of the coin? As we approach purity, and we still have a way to go, so the quality improves. Queens with good numbers exhibit the traits we find most acceptable. These bees are certainly gentler to handle; stay on the comb and produce hives that do not make excessive propolis, even their hygiene is improved. We can now walk around our yards without ‘suiting up’ and without being subjected to whining bees. It is rare we need a smoker; in fact, we have them with us but only use them if the weather is suspect. So I can only suggest if you are dissatisfied with the bees you are running, and want to improve them, then do take the time to investigate and use Morphometry as the “Ultimate Selection Tool”.

David Eyre


Salmon with honey and onions
This month’s recipe comes from Venezuela in South America and although it details salmon, it can be used with other fish. It has a deliciously unusual taste and can be used to surprise posh guests. Try using a strong tasting honey such as heather or manuka.

2 pounds weight of salmon fillets
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1 cup sliced red onions
salt & pepper


Mix the honey and vinegar then marinade the onions in the mixfor at least one hour.
Salt and pepper the fillets then add the onion/honey mixture.
Heat the oven at 350 degrees and bake the fish for 20 minutes.

FACT FILE Back to top

Most beekeepers know of the existence of HMF and will have been warned that too much of it in their honey is a bad thing. In this fact file we look at exactly what it is, how it is formed, what uses it has and how we can avoid it. The basic thing to remember is that heating honey will generally cause a rise in the amount of HMF present and that there is a law against too much HMF if you want to sell the honey. So be careful.

Hydroxymethylfurfuraldehyde (5-hydroxymethyl-2 furalde-hyde), also called HMF, is a compound that results from the breakdown of simple sugars (such as glucose or fructose) at pH 5 or lower. HMF occurs naturally in honey, especially in warm climates.
New honey contains 1 to 5 mg/kg HMF.
When honey is being stored at 20 °C the HMF content will raise ±1 mg/kg per month.
Only fructose will become HMF. So the rise is dependent on the kind of honey!!
Heating the honey will raise HMF contents rapidly.
The longer and/or hotter it is heated, the higher the HMF will become.

Table of the time to produce 30 ppm HMF

Temperature in °C Temperature in °F Time (days)
30 °C 86 °F 150-250
40 °C 104 °F 20-50
50 °C 122 °F 4.5-9
60 °C 140 °F 1-2.5
70 °C 158 °F 5-14 hours


Honey deteriorates with aging and/or heating and with this the HMF increases. Adulteration of honey with invert sugar raises the level of HMF considerably. Thus the quantity of HMF in a batch of honey is a good indicator of its quality. HMF (HydroxyMethylFurfuraldehyde) is used as an indicator of heat and storage changes in honey. (HMF is formed by the breakdown of fructose in the presence of an acid. This means that if you decide to feed your bees invert sugar syrup (recommended) rather than straight sugar syrup, ensure that the inversion process is carried out using yeast, not acid. You could be poisoning your bees instead of giving them a boost). Ed. Heat increases the speed of this reaction. The increase in speed is exponential with increasing heat. HMF occurs naturally in most honeys and usually increases with the age and heat treatment of honey.

HMF’s occurrence and accumulation in honey is variable depending on honey type. While today HMF is used as an indicator of heating or storage at elevated temperatures, it was first used (as early as 1908) as an indicator of the adulteration of honey with invert syrups (syrups of glucose and fructose). Cane sugar (sucrose) can be “inverted” by heating with a food acid, and this process creates HMF. (See Ed note above). However it was quickly realized that heated natural honey also had higher levels of HMF and therefore the interest switched from being an indicator of adulteration, to that of an indicator of heating and storage changes. It should be noted however that high levels of HMF (greater than 100 mg/kg) can still be an indicator of adulteration with inverted sugars.

HMF is not a harmful substance to humans in levels found in food. Many sugar type products (e.g. Golden Syrup, Molasses etc.) have levels of HMF that are 10-100 times that of honey. Many food items sweetened with high fructose corn syrups, e.g. carbonated soft drinks, can have levels of HMF between 100 and 1,000 mg/kg. Fresh natural honey can have varying levels of HMF. Normally this is below 1 mg/kg but levels soon start to rise with ambient temperatures above 20°C. It should be noted that temperatures in the beehive can rise to over 40°C during summer months (when the main honey crop is in progress). It is usual for HMF to be below 10 mg/kg in fresh extracted honey. Levels higher than this may indicate excessive heating during the extraction process.

Many countries impose maximum levels for HMF. The Codex level is currently set at 80 mg/kg, but was set at 40mg/kg for many years, a level still used in Germany, the World’s largest importer. This twofold difference in imposed levels shows that HMF is not a simple subject and that many anomalies arise throughout the varied honey World. Honey that is traded in a bulk form is usually required to be below 10 or 15mg/kg to enable further processing and then give some shelf life before a level of 40 mg/kg is reached. It is not uncommon for honey sold in hot climates to be well over 100 mg/kg. This is mostly due to the ambient temperatures (over 35°C) that honey is exposed to in the distribution channel.

The time taken to accumulate HMF at varying temperatures has had considerable research. The most important thing to remember is that this is variable. However work by White, Kushnir & Subers in 1964 indicated the following approximate ranges for accumulation of HMF.

Measuring HMF:There are 3 main methods in current use for measuring HMF. The oldest of these is “The Winkler” method. This method is a photometric method that is used extensively in Germany. It used to be listed in the AOAC but was dropped some years ago due to concerns regarding the carcinogenic nature of one of the reagents (toluidine). The two methods currently in the AOAC are a direct measurement using HMF’s absorbance at 284nm and an HPLC method that uses the same absorbance property. The HPLC method is the most recent method added to the AOAC and is gaining widespread popularity. We use the HPLC method at Airborne.

There are often diferences in results between the methods due to unforseen or unresearched variabilities in some honeys. It is important to use comparable methods when comparing results for specific samples.

USES: HMF is used in the synthesis of dialdehydes, glycols, ethers, amino alcohols and acetals. As an aqueous acid it catalyzes ring opening. Generation of HMF (from starch) in the presence of phenol is used to produce phenol/furfural novolak-type resins. In this application, HMF is produced from glucose in the presence of phenol, with which it is polymerized using a basic catalyst. Acid-catalyzed dehydration of HMF yields OMBF (5,5'-oxydimethylenebis(2-furfural)), an intermediate in the synthesis of several crown ethers. Due to its various functionalities, it has been proposed that HMF could be utilized to produce a wide range of products such as polymers, surfactants, solvents, pharmaceuticals, and plant protection agents.

Human Exposure: Humans are potentially exposed to HMF through pharmaceutical preparations, cigarette smoke, and the consumption of a number of commonly available beverages and foods.

Natural Occurrence: HMF is naturally occurring. It has been identified in honey, apple juice, citrus juices, beer, brandy, milk, breakfast cereal, baked foods, tomato products and home cooking of sugar and carbohydrates. A sequence of nonenzymatic browning reactions (the so-called Maillard reaction) are initiated during heat treatment of foods containing reducing sugars and amino acids. HMF is a common intermediate product in the Maillard reaction. In apple juice stored for one year, HMF concentration correlated positively with storage temperature (about 1 mg/l at 3oC for apples of different ripeness, 1.6 mg/l at 20oC for juice from unripe apples and 6.7 mg/l at 20oC for juice from ripe apples); also, stored apple juice made from ripe apples had much higher concentrations of HMF than juice from unripe apples stored for the same length of time.

HMF is present in sherries and grape concentrate. Medium sherries were found to have HMF concentrations in the range 20-340 ppm; HMF concentration in sweet sherries ranged from 130 to 680 ppm. HMF concentration increases with sugar content and baking time.


This month we look with a historical perspective at Ian Rumsey’s work on gravitomagnetism and revolving hives. In a wood cut taken from the Rev WC Cotton’s ‘My Bee Book’ written in 1842 prior to his departure for New Zealand, he notes a strange alignment of combs in a hive which he ascribes to two queens being in residence and putting up a ‘party wall’ between them. I wonder how Ian would explain this one!


In this month’s poem, Ian Rumsey brings us a type of techno poem, in effect continuing his series of articles in poetry. I never ceased to be amazed at how people see things in their mind’s eye. (Ed).



Gravitomagnetic fields, You warp our time and space, And permeate within our hive, To give us power and grace.Believe

This force, formed by rotating mass, Is common place you see, From Galaxies in outer space, To atoms in a bee.Believe

The atom has rotating mass, Caused by electron rings, This force is active all the time, And present in all things.Believe

We can detect these small amounts, To read each others mind, And use this to communicate, With each and every kind.Believe

These are the eyes you cannot see, To us all things are clear, We are aware of everything, And hold all life as dear.Believe

Ian Rumsey

LETTERS Back to top

Dear Editor,
Would like to offer for your catalogue the reference to the Internet a site about beekeeping in Russia. Here are be about 400 beekeepers daily. Huge set of interesting clauses and news about beekeeping in Russia and all world. I think to your visitors it will be interesting to get acquainted with the beekeepers from Russia - www.beeland.ru www.beeland.ru - site about the Russian beekeepers, eyes of the Russian beekeepers

Dear Editor,
I was interested to read the article where one of your readers was recommending the use of a polypropylene mesh wind-break material in his hive floors. I too found the mesh prohibitively expensive from the equipment suppliers and decided to use this when I changed my floors over for the 2005 summer.

I made up around 5 new floors to change in the early part of the year using this mesh from my local garden centre on my deep nationals and got around to changing two hives early on. Within approx two weeks the bees had chewed through the mesh and when I took off the floor was confronted with a hole around 3-4" diameter. It was not mice as I keep a restricted opening so there was no chance that mice did the damage.

I have since changed it to a galvanised woven mesh that I found in a hardware shop in Bermuda which was sold as fly screen and the cost worked out at around £1.50 per hive. BA carried the roll of around 5 meters by 1.2 metres without question. Very well worth doing as when I checked my hives for varroa as levels built up through the summer a 24 hour paper insert showed a greater proportion of live varroa than dead. So any beekeepers going away to warmer climates this year find the local hardware shop for your mesh needs.

Incidentally I also explored the possibility of using stainless steel mesh which I still want to do and found that companies in the UK were happy to supply a few square metres which worked out at around £3-4 per hive but the cost of getting it to me by post within the UK was prohibitive.

Chris Tomlins

I have been trying to find out:
(a) Precisely what EEC funds are available to beekeepers in other EU countries,
(b) What EEC funds are received by the UK and how these funds are used

I have had little success in my search regarding either question, (other than to glean
that beekeepers in other EU countries appear to do a lot better than British beekeepers).

Question: Do you have any ideas where definitive and easily understood information may be found?

James Horne


Saturday 22nd April, 2006. 9am To 5pm:
Spring Convention 2006
The British Beekeepers' Association Spring Lecture Convention and Exhibition.
Open to all, beekeepers and friends. Sixty trade, educational, conservation and environment exhibitions.
Venue: Stoneleigh Park Exhibition and Conference Centre, near Coventry, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ.

Friday-Saturday 21st-23rd July 2006:
DBKA Summer Conference at Exeter University.
For more information Download Booking Form [159KB PDF]


This quote is also a piece of very good advice for many beekeepers. Where then did it come from?

‘A dead bee maketh no honey.’

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