Stop Press: London Honey Show: Two Talks

London Honey Show
London Honey Show

 The London Honey Show is at the Lancaster Hotel W2 2TY from 11am to 4pm this Sunday 16th October. Entry £2. Children go free. This is a family day out with a farmers’ market feel.

The Lancaster Hotel is very accessible, on the North side of Hyde Park, next to Lancaster Gate Tube (Central Line).

I will be giving two talks:

  •     1.30pm                    Bees Can’t Eat Kind Words”: Exploring the precarious balance of forage and London’s populous bees.
Bee On Bramble
Bee On Bramble
  • 2.15pm                 “The Asian Hornet”: Recognition and ManagementWe travelled to France to discover how beekeepers there have been coping with this voracious honeybee predator.
Asian Hornet
Asian Hornet

Hoping to see you there!

 

In the Apiary : Mid-May : An Inspector Calls…

At 5.31pm precisely the doorbell rang. It was the Seasonal Bee Inspector for South London, Brian McCallum, sent from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on a routine visit to the Bermondsey Street Bees. In the 8 years in which I have been keeping bees, this was my first visit from an inspector. Or, as I like to look at it, the first time I have been offered a free beekeeping lesson from an expert, paid for by Her Majesty’s Government. Hey, Brian, great to see you! But what kept you so long? Suiting-up on the roof terrace, I noticed that Brian’s bee-suit’s breast pocket has a badge with the insignias of “Fera” and “National Bee Unit” sewn into it. Now, there used to be a government department called Fera, which was formed in 2009. But Fera is now a limited company, owned 75% by Capita plc and 25% by DEFRA (Department of Food and Agriculture). Of course, DEFRA was created to absorb the splendidly-titled Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) in 2002. And the Bee Inspectorate was transferred from Fera to APHA late last year. Can anyone out there explain why government departments change their name-tags as freqently as those of the baristas at your local Costa Coffee? Dizzying, isn’t it? Anyway, smoker lit, we set straight to work. Brian was soon performing the slow ballet of beekeeping on our precarious fourth storey rooftop. Standing in a narrow gully between the pitched slate roof and the brick parapet on which the hives stand, we danced a pas-de-deux, as elegantly as possible in our veiled bee-suits, visiting Abbey Hive, Square Hive, Swarm Hive, Neckinger Hive, Leathermarket Hive, Shard Hive and Thames Hive.

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