Honeybees in the British Isle

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Franklyn

Honeybees in the British Isle

Postby Franklyn » 30 May 2013, 01:22

Greetings all.

As spring time is now in full bloom and flowers blossom colourful everywhere in natures green lands I have noticed the absence of our traditional Honeybee in the British isle. Sure, there are still some honeybees whizzing around, but this year in particular, those numbers are shrinking.

I live in Wiltshire, so there are plenty of farmed and unfarmed countryside stretching for miles and miles, and normally the population of honeybees has been pretty good over the years. Over the last two years the number of honeybees is steadily declining and this year alone I find its number alarming low.

Have you noticed this absents of honeybees in your shire?

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Re: Honeybees in the British Isle

Postby skydove » 30 May 2013, 13:07

Yes there is a dreadful decline, it was the same last year I think, bekeepers have told me horror stories of how many hives they have lost, even beekeepers who have been at it for decades. I have been trying to grow plants specifically for bees and trying to spread the word to friends and neighbours to be more bee friendly. I wrote to my MP and have had less than satisfactory replies about government policy on banning nicotinaminide pesticides at least until they find out for sure what their effects are. They seem more of the opinion to keep using them if and until they find out they are dangerous or a cause of bee decline, which to my eyes is a step too late. Short termism rears its ugly head again. Obviously they are many contributary factors in their overall decline such as weather and other environmental factors but those factors which we our government is able to do something about such as imposing a temporary ban on those relavent pesticides
could help to slow that decline whilst the necessary information is gathered.
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Re: Honeybees in the British Isle

Postby Crinia » 31 May 2013, 01:44

On our property we have one hive to supply honey for the house. there are also two wild hives in trees. Our neighbours have loved it since we brought bees to the property as they are getting better germination of their fruit and vegetable crops.
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Re: Honeybees in the British Isle

Postby skydove » 31 May 2013, 22:58

I saw a huge bee swarm today as I was gardening, I heard the noise before I saw the bees, and for a few seconds before they passed over it was a little scary.
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Re: Honeybees in the British Isle

Postby Cosmic Ash » 02 Jun 2013, 16:47

I am a beekeeper up in Cumbria. I've had bees for about 10 years now and this has been definitely the worst winter yet. I lost 3 out of my 4 colonies. I don't usually lose any bees in winter. They all had plenty of food and were free from disease. I think this year part of the problem may have been that the weather stayed cold for a long time. Here we are about. Month behind where we would expect to be. This is a problem for bees because they don't hibernate over winter, they just slow down. In summer a worker bee lives only for a few weeks. In winter the ageing process slows down so they are able to love through until the spring when the queen starts laying eggs and the next generation is hatched. I think the delay in the arrival of spring and the queen starting to lay was just too long for these poor bees to hold on. At least that's my theory.
Skydove, although a swarm flying over seems scary (and I would probably run away!) they're actually very unlikely to sting anyone. They will have filled their tummies with honey, so it will physically be difficult for them to bend round to sting, and also their main priority is getting their queen safely to her new home.


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