Beehive thefts are rare in Wales and we’re not aware of any here in Carmarthenshire. However, BBC Online reports the recent theft of a beehive (with its bees) in Ynys Mon/Anglesey. So, this is a timely reminder to all local beekeepers to keep a close eye on your hives. This applies mostly to hives situated in out-apiaries. Do take sensible precautions including being careful about where you site them.
The new Issue of Bee World has been published online by the International Bee Research Association. This issue contains articles on a range of topics. These include an article on beekeeping with the Yemeni bee Apis mellifera jementica in Yemen, a history of almond pollination in California, an article on propolis production and marketing in India, a review of the basic concept of honey bee breeding programs, and a study on the length of life of Apis mellifera worker bees in Bulgaria.
All the articles can be found HERE. You can join IBRA HERE to gain access to all papers in this issue, and the entire back catalogue to Issue 1 in 1919. IBRA is a Registered Charity.
We’re always interested to see how beekeeping was done in the past – so that we can make a comparison with modern techniques. It’s also interesting for us in West Wales to look at beekeeping practices in Ireland and Scotland, where the climate can be very similar (especially with the levels of rainfall). So, THIS CLIP from the Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE) archives in Ireland is particularly interesting. It is from 1962 and features a Beekeeper (Jess Cobb) from Bridgetown in County Wexford (just across the water – approx 11 miles from Rosslare Harbour).
The Soil Association is encouraging people to plant herbs in their gardens to help pollinators. They’ve produced some general advice HERE. Advice on growing herbs specifically for honey bees can be found HERE. Why not have a go?
Time Magazine reports on the latest Report from the US Department of Agriculture on the health of honey bees throughout the United States, where there has been a major problem with Colony Collapse Disorder. Click on the link HERE.
Neonicotinoid seed dressings have caused concern world-wide. We use large field experiments to assess the effects of neonicotinoid-treated crops on three bee species across three countries (Hungary, Germany, and the United Kingdom). Winter-sown oilseed rape was grown commercially with either seed coatings containing neonicotinoids (clothianidin or thiamethoxam) or no seed treatment (control). For honey bees, we found both negative (Hungary and United Kingdom) and positive (Germany) effects during crop flowering. In Hungary, negative effects on honey bees (associated with clothianidin) persisted over winter and resulted in smaller colonies in the following spring (24% declines). In wild bees (Bombus terrestris and Osmia bicornis), reproduction was negatively correlated with neonicotinoid residues. These findings point to neonicotinoids causing a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure.