Around the Colony

From Bee Craft: November 2009

Vita Gallery image resource, Honey bee numbers increasing, Amateur apiary revolution, Cosmetics under threat, The BBKA to concentrate on education, Bill Jones and Joe Preece


Images for your talks about bees and beekeeping are available to download from the Vita Gallery at Vita (Europe) Ltd has developed this free resource because of the increasing demand on beekeepers to give public talks.

There are more than 200 mostly high-resolution images available. There are historic, scientific, and botanical images as well as pictures relating to beekeeping management and equipment, new and old.

The images are categorised and searchable by keyword for ease of use. Anyone can view the images and there is a simple, free registration process for those wishing to download and use the pictures.

The conditions of use are simple: the Gallery images are free to download and use in presentations, but are not to be published or used for commercial gain.

Specific queries about usage should be sent to

Untitled-1-2Overall Honey Bee Increase says Canadian Report

A frightening buzz over the imminent demise of honey bees – and the disappearance of their critical pollinating prowess – is unfounded, according to a new Canadian-led study that shows their global numbers are actually growing.

High-profile stories during the past three years detailing the mysterious decimation of thousands of beekeeper colonies had ted to fears that the human food supply was being imperilled by a ‘pollination crisis’, says the study,

An Amateur Apiary Revolution

Colonies are being destroyed by disease, but a new wave of hobbyists with hives in their gardens could hold the key to restocking the population.

Courses in beekeeping are so oversubscribed that people are already on waiting lists for next year. Nearly 1000 wannabe apiarists applied for 60 places on an introductory course in London this year and the pattern is being repeated across the country. The British Beekeepers’ Association has seen its membership rocket by almost 50% since 2007, from 10,000 to 14,500.

The BBKA Concentrates on Education

On Saturday 3 October, delegates from the Area Associations of the British Beekeepers’ Association gathered at Stoneleigh to discuss beekeeper education. Following its withdrawal from the Healthy Bees Plan Project Board, BBKA has decided that the best use of its resources will be to concentrate on

education for all levels of beekeeper.

The meeting heard from three associations about the way they approach beekeeper education. There was a presentation from Lantra about the services they could offer for training trainers. David Bancalari outlined an interactive training programme for foul

brood and other diseases which is under development. The talks were followed by discussion groups on ‘A Beekeeper Learning Programme’, ‘Training the Trainers’ and ‘Training Media/Materials’ which reported to the assembled delegates.

A full report of the Forum will appear in December.

which appeared in the journal Current Biology (8 May 2009).

‘The declines in the USA, some European countries and the former USSR are more than offset by large increases elsewhere, including Canada, Argentina, Spain and especially China,’ says University of Calgary biologist, Lawrence Harder.

Cosmetics Under Threat

According to the Co-operative Group, the loss of bee colonies is putting almost 4000 of the UK’s favourite cosmetics at risk, including 643 brands of mascara, 589 lipsticks and at least 453 moisturisers.

The cosmetics all rely on beeswax which acts as a preservative in cosmetics and also as a barrier against air and moisture.


We are sorry to announce the death of Bill (WW) Jones this summer. His funeral took place in September. An appreciation will appear in the December issue.

We have also heard that Joe Preece died in February at the age of 85. Running over 1000 colonies with his son, he was probably the biggest beekeeper in Staffordshire.

Both will be greatly missed.

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