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Grahame Pinches (Beekeepers) "A year in the life of a Beehive" 3rd Nov 2021

Mr Grahame Pinches, Chair of Whitehaven and Cumbria District Beekeeping Association, spoke at our recent meeting 3/11/21.
An in depth talk about the origin and fascinating lives of Bees. The beekeeping association was founded in 1874. Bees come from the Hymenoptera including wasps and ants. There are 268 different varieties of bee which have evolved over 185 million years.

Mr Pinches went on to talk about different nests and boxes showing slides of all the different types.
The honey bee converts honey to wax and one pound of honey produces one pound of wax.
Annual cycle of Bubble bee. The solitary queen will work from winter. October to March, in spring build a nest laying a brood of about fifty eggs.
Honey Bee colony Annual Cycle. The Honey bee lasts three to four weeks doing twenty thousand flights over one to three miles. In September the queen changes layout of her hormones and gives workers – workers lasting six months. At peak in summer the colony has 70,000, reducing to 10,000 in the winter.

Dominated by females, having no use for drones which are thrown out of the nest. May to early August bees will swarm. However there are impacts of swarming including loss of life, loss of honey and nuisance to neighbours, and most swarms left in the wild are doomed for failure.

Bees originated in Central Africa, the Italian bee being the most popular and prolific at producing honey. There are also grey and black bees.

In 1924 there was the Isle of Wight Disease among bees destroying them. The Isles of Harris and Lewis consequently banned importing of bees.

Mr Pinches also spoke of the anatomy of bees in depth, including hive components, honey bee requirements and beekeeping requirements.

Bees usually dance for food close and far away. Food close known as round dance and food afar waggle dance, in a figure of eight. Bees are deaf having no ears but they do have five eyes.

Everyone enjoyed the interesting talk and hopefully maybe next year the group will be invited to see the hives.