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Around the Colony : 5

Short-haired Bumblebee Project

The short-haired bumblebee

project aims to reintroduce an extinct bumblebee Bombus subterraneus back to the UK. The project has recently made the second release of specimens on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ Dungeness nature reserve. Further information is available from the project’s new website www.

AROUND THE Colony News from around the beekeeping world Celebration of the Honey Bee

This annual event is now in its third year. As usual it is being hosted by the Brandon House Hotel, New Ross, Wexford, Ireland, on a new date, 15 September. This year’s celebration promises to be bigger and better than ever with two main speakers, Philip McCabe and Micheál Mac Giolla Coda.

Bee Deaths Tied to Diet

In the USA, beekeepers’ use of corn syrup and other honey substitutes as bee feed may be contributing to colony collapse by depriving bees of compounds that strengthen their immune systems, according to a recent study by scientists at the University of Illinois1


1 Mao W, Schuler MA, Berenbaum MR (2013). Honey constituents up-regulate detoxifi cation and immunity genes in the western honey bee Apis mellifera. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. doi:10.1073/pnas.1303884110

Shropshire Farm Imports Italian Bees

The Plymouth Estate, at

Bromfi eld, near Ludlow, lost a third of the estate’s 150 colonies following months of poor weather. Farm owners have imported £10,000 worth of bees from Italy to the UK to restock hives.

August 2013 Vol 95 No 8

The honey show has now been opened up to members of the British and Ulster Beekeepers’ Associations. The hotel will present prizes of hives to a beginner from each of the four associations in Wexford. The lucky winners will also be presented with bees from their association – a great start for any budding beekeeper. There is an art competition for children from local primary schools and there will be stalls providing information, bee-friendly plants, chocolates with honey, bee-related pottery, bee suppliers, etc. For honey show entry forms, see

Urban Beekeepers

London urban beekeepers have recently graduated from their year-long beekeeping training funded by The Co-operative’s Plan Bee campaign and delivered by Urban Bees.

Forty Co-operative members attended the 2012/13 training courses at Camley Street Nature Park and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. The new beekeepers will help run the training apiaries and become mentors for future beekeepers in London.

Plan Bee has trained over 300 new urban beekeepers across the UK since the launch of the campaign in 2009, including in Sheffi eld, Inverness, Manchester, London and Mid Antrim.

World’s First Bee Sperm Bank

Entomologists in Washington

are starting the world’s fi rst bee sperm bank. Their goal is to collect semen from different honey bee subspecies abroad, freeze it in liquid nitrogen, and take it back to the United States to help fi ght Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Samples have to pass strict screening tests for any dangerous viruses that could potentially kill other species. Semen is extracted from drones with a specialised syringe, after applying a little pressure to their abdomen, and frozen with liquid nitrogen. Once frozen, the semen can be viable for several decades. So far, Susan Cobey, a research associate at Washington State University and her colleague Steve Sheppard, a professor of entomology, have collected semen from three different subspecies of honey bee: the Caucasian honey bee, the Italian bee and the Carniolan bee.

Breakfast at the Sea of Galilee

The self-service breakfast in the Ron Beach Hotel, Tiberias, at the Sea of Galilee, includes fresh honey, straight from the comb.

James Lindsey

Steve Cree

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