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16th October 2018 -  The Life and Work of the Honey Bee

Ian Sinclair

At the meeting on 16th October, our President Aliastair Pate introduced Ian Sinclair who gave a  fascinating and detailed presentation on honey bees.   Ian, who lives in Nemphlar, with a garden full of honey bees, told us that he was following a family tradition of bee-keeping.   Ian explained the life cycle of the honey bees, the queen, workers and drones, and the roles that each played in the life of the colony, and how/why wax, honey and royal jelly was produced.  He explained how would move the hives on a regular basis to provide the bees with a range of pollen sources and how the bees were essential to the pollination of many commercial crops.  However there is a worrying reduction in bee numbers across the globe believed to be from the effects of neonicotinoid agricultural insecticides.   Ian told us why bees swarm and that he could be called out locally to collect bee swarms which would be added to his own hives.  After a bad winter last year he said he had lost most of his hives and that he was bringing in bees from Italy to replace the hives he lost.   After a number of questions from members it was time to give Ian a well deserved vote of thanks for an absorbing and informative insight into the life and work of the honey bee.  Our next meeting is on Tuesday 6th November with a talk on “The Defence of the Realm”.

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