Successful opening weekend of Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre

Friday 18th July 2014 marked the beginning of a very successful weekend for the PBKA, with the official opening of the ‘Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre’ at Scolton Manor by Edwina Hart AM, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, together with the launch of Scolton’s own Victorian Walled Garden project.

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Saturday featured an Open Day at the Centre as part of National Countryside Week and the ‘Bee Hive’ exhibition was overflowing all afternoon with members of the public coming in to watch the honey extracting demonstration in the ‘Honey Kitchen’ and live pictures from the ‘hive cam’! Members of the PBKA were also present to talk to the public and give hive inspection demonstrations at the ‘Pine Tree Apiary’.

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On Sunday, we held another beekeeping training session at the apiary, which was followed as always with tea and Rosemary’s fabulous (and dare I say it? – famous) cakes, which she always keeps us generously supplied with!

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If you haven’t been up to see the Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre yet, it is well worth the trip with something for the whole family!

We hope to see you there soon!

Could honey ingredients help make a new antibiotic?

An interesting article on the BBC News Wales website. Scientists are searching for a new antibiotic and they hope that beekeepers can help.

Many thanks to Lillian for bringing this to our attention.

Honey Bees – Living Feral

Bees in Tree Trunk

Bees in Tree Trunk

We hear a lot about declining bee numbers.

While beekeepers can and should look for problems and take action to prolong the life of their own colonies bees living in the wild are at the mercy, or not, of nature.

Where do bees living in the wild come from? And are they related to the bees we manage?

A story on the BBC Nature website explains more – read it here.

Hive Alive on BBC2

Thanks to Cindy for this link to a great new beekeeping programme on BBC2…definitely worth a look! Available on iplayer at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04b3k05/hive-alive-episode-1

 

Open Day at the new Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre

Come and see the PBKA’s new ‘Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre’ at Scolton Manor’s  ‘Open Day’ on Saturday 19th July and as part of National Countryside Week.

There will be hive inspection displays at the ‘Pine Tree Apiary’, plus honey extracting in the ‘Honey Kitchen’ for all to see!

In addition, the new ‘Bee Hive’ exhibition room will be open, which includes live pictures from our ‘bee cam’!

On Friday 18th July, the Centre, together with Scolton Manor’s Victorian Walled Garden project will be officially opened by Edwina Hart, MBE, C St J, AM – the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport.

And on Sunday at 2pm we have an apiary meeting for PBKA members, so it is going to be a busy weekend for the beekeeping team at the Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre!

We hope to see you there!

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Food Unwrapped – Manuka Honey

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Series 3 episode 4 of Food Unwrapped showing today, July 13th at 13:40 on More 4 contains an item on the medicinal properties of Manuka honey.

First shown last year on Channel 4.

Honey Bee Losses in USA – White House Demands Federal Action

On June, 20th a Presidential Memorandum was issued by the White House  titled Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. 

The memorandum states that:

“Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment. The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.”

On May 20th, National Geographic Daily News covered a USDA report that Losses over the 2013-2014 winter in the USA were lower than most previous years.  But commented:

Even so, the USDA’s survey of beekeepers found that nearly a quarter of the bees in managed honeybee colonies—a total of 23.2 percent nationwide—perished from October 2013 to April 2014.

That was far better than the average annual loss of 29.6 percent reported since 2007, and the 30.5 percent loss recorded during the winter of 2012-2013. But it’s appreciably higher than the threshold of 18.9 percent losses that beekeepers consider economically sustainable, the USDA said.

“This year’s survey results, while encouraging, do not provide much comfort because it is not known why the bees seemed to do better this past winter than previous winters,” said Gene Robinson, director of the Institute for Genomic Biology and an entomology expert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “We can’t rest until we really understand the factors that drive differences in losses.”

The White House Memorandum requires a “National Pollinator Health Strategy (Strategy)” to be developed within six months.

The food industry in the USA is huge and has become reliant on intensive use of chemical pesticides included neonicotidoids which have been banned since late 2013 for a two year trial period in the EU.  Will be interesting to see what action results from this – is it too little too late?