BIBBA Event: The National Honey Monitoring Scheme: Using citizen science to understand the foraging habits of UK honeybees

The National Honey Monitoring Scheme: Using citizen science to understand the foraging habits of UK honeybees

by Dr Anna Oliver

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/94602701942

Dr Anna Oliver is a molecular biologist working on the National Honey Monitoring Scheme at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH, Wallingford).

The scheme, backed by both the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and the Bee Farmers Association (BFA), was set up in July 2018 and aims to monitor how the foraging habits of UK honeybees respond to a changing environment. Further, if these changes can be used to provide information on the health of our countryside. It is the first UK-wide analysis of its kind, and uses advanced DNA barcoding techniques to identify traces of pollen in honey. The scheme comes at a time when many species of insect pollinators are in decline in the UK.

2018 saw 200 beekeepers from across the UK participating and identified plants favoured by honeybees, regional differences in foraging habits as well as showing the importance of some invasive plant species. 2019 was an even better year with almost 600 beekeepers having submitted honey samples for analysis and the results generated clearly indicated forage patterns linked to both time of year and land use. Sample returns in 2020 exceeded our wildest expectations with over 1000 honey samples returned, and results from these are currently being generated.

She will be presenting the story so far.

For more information see: https://honey-monitoring.ac.uk/
Email: honey@ceh.ac.uk

⚠️ THIS WEBINAR WILL NOT BE LIVE STREAMED OR AVAILABLE AFTER THE EVENT. GET IN EARLY

BBKA Module Exams

BBKA Module Exams

The BBKA will be holding the spring Module Exams in electronic form, with online invigilation.

Anyone who has already applied and does not want to take the exam online can have their entry transferred to November 2021 at no cost, when we are planning to offer paper exams

Never Waste a Queen Cell by Tony Jefferson

Never Waste a Queen Cell

by Tony Jefferson

Far too much emphasis is placed upon queen rearing and not on the wider aspects of bee breeding, such as the selection of quality breeding stock. Bees have far more years experience producing good quality queen cells then we have, so why not keep things simple and let them produce their own queen cells?

The talk will discuss the importance of positive selection of breeding stock, primarily drones, consider that during the summer months every beekeeper destroys many good quality cells in their efforts to control swarming, not having equipment to utilize the spare cells.

Hopefully it will lead to questioning why it is perceived as difficult to produce queens.

The main issue is how to use surplus queen cells, get the queens mated/laying, evaluating them for performance, then deciding how/which ones to use to build up into productive colonies.

This talk will explain in simple and practical methods how to select good quality breeding stock, the use of simple non specialist equipment that does not rely on keeping to dates/timetables, the difficulty on the NE coast due to unpredictable weather in the key breeding time in May.

Tony Jefferson is the middle of 3 generations of Jefferson beekeepers, he describes his beekeeping as, “a hobby that got out of control a long time ago”.

Up to 150 colonies have been managed between Father Allan, Tony and Nephew Richard in the weather challenged North East coast around the Whitby area. Tony now heads up the empire, whilst still working full time as a high voltage engineer.

Through many years of practical observations, using WBC hives for winter, limited use of queen excluders, use of brood and half, glass quilts and own design of floors, all based on simple techniques. The beekeeping practice is all based around 2 weeks of good weather in August for the prized heather crop.

Bee breeding and active selection of drones as opposed to queen rearing is his passion, especially concentrating on the progression of the black local bee.

BBKA Spring Convention 2021

The BBKA Spring Convention – An Armchair Event
Thursday Evening 15th April to Sunday 18th April

Registration now open. To Register follow this link: https://springconvention.bbka.org.uk/access/register

An event for all levels of experience, with a mix of over twenty practical and scientific presentations, plus more social events. You need to register to take part, but free-to-view content includes:

• Dr David Aston’s Keynote Address, 7.30pm, Thursday 15th April;

• the Market Place, for your favourite beekeeping equipment suppliers plus other exhibitors;

•  the Beacon Schools Presentation, 3.30pm Sunday 18th April.

Those wishing to attend the full event need to pay for entry:

The fee is £10 for all three days, if registered in advance, (by Thursday 15th April) or £12 during the event.

Complimentary registration for BBKA Junior and School members is available. A parent /guardian/teacher should email joyce.nisbet@bbka.org.uk, by 9th April giving the junior/ school member’s name, BBKA number (if available) and e-mail address for sign-in.

There is a handy ‘pull-out’ summary of the Convention Programme in the centre pages of April’s BBKA News.

The Full Programme may be found here: https://springconvention.bbka.org.uk/lobby

 

The gut microbiome is key to nestmate recognition in the honey bee

The Central Association of Bee-Keepers

The gut microbiome is key to nestmate recognition in the honey bee

An Open Lecture by the Central Association of Bee-Keepers

The talk is open both to members and non-members of the CABK and will be delivered by Cassondra Vernier

Cassondra Vernier

Cassondra is a biologist interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underly animal social behaviours. She earned her PhD in Evolutionary Biology from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2019, where she worked in the lab of Dr. Yehuda Ben-Shahar. As a graduate student she studied how honey bee nestmate recognition cues develop as bees transition from nursing to foraging behaviours, and discovered that the bee microbiome plays an important role in defining differences in nestmate recognition cues between colonies. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr. Gene Robinson’s lab at the University of Illinois, where she continues to study the role of the microbiome in honey bee behaviour.

The gut microbiome is key to nestmate recognition in the honey bee

Guard Bees at Work © Nathan Beach

Honey bees rely on nestmate recognition to recognize and reject intruders­ such as parasites, predators and robbers from entering their hive. This behaviour is performed at the entrance to the hive by guard bees, who inspect incoming bees to determine if they have a pheromonal signature that matches their colony. Despite the importance of these pheromonal cues in maintaining the integrity and fitness of the honey bee colony, how bees develop a cue that matches their own colony and differs from other colonies was not fully understood. Previous research suggested that bees develop these cues based on their colony environment, yet these environmental factor(s) remained unknown. In this presentation, I will present evidence that indicates that the gut microbiome plays an important role in defining nestmate recognition cues in honey bees

Genetic Testing of Honey Bees for U.K. Beekeepers

The Central Association of Bee-Keepers

Genetic Testing of Honey Bees for U.K. Beekeepers

An Open Talk by the Central Association of Bee-Keepers

The talk is open both to members and non-members of the CABK and will be delivered by Mark Barnett, Matthew Richardson & David Wragg.

The Three Presenters

Dr Mark Barnett
Mathew Richardson
Dr David Wragg

Mark Barnett, Matthew Richardson & David Wragg, the co-founders of the Community Interest Company (CIC) named Beebytes Analytics, will talk about the research that led to this opportunity at the Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh), the way the CIC was established and the R&D that should lead to a honey bee genotyping service for UK beekeepers.

Based at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Innovation Centre, the CIC will initially be providing genetic services testing for introgression of C-lineage in M-lineage honey bees (analysis of the amount of DNA from Carniolan and Italian honey bees present in dark honey bees).

Shipston-on-Stour Members’ Monthly Event

Main Event: Your plan for the coming season – what you might consider

by Douglas Nethercleft

The main event of the evening will be lead by Douglas Nethercleft discussing “Your plan for the coming season – what you might consider”. The objective is to get you to think about the activities of your bees in the coming months with particular emphasis on the equipment that you will need to have to hand should you, say, wish to take on your first colony, increase/decrease your number of stocks of bees or venture into an entirely new facet of beekeeping. Bring a notepad and pencil!

At the March meeting we are experimenting using the facility on Zoom to create ‘Breakout Rooms’ which enable smaller numbers of people to form a chat group talking about a specific issue. You will be able to log in to a room of your choice prior to the main meeting.

There will be three Breakout Rooms:

  1. Hosted by David Blower as a follow on from the Thursday evening training sessions he held in the branch apiary last year
  2. Hosted by Douglas Nethercleft as a follow on from the Monday evening training sessions he held in the branch apiary last year
  3. Hosted by Carolyn Kramer as a follow on from the Winter Bee School sessions held recently which focused on preparing for the Basic Assessment.

Whilst it is hoped that all who participated in any of these activities will attend the relevant Breakout Room it is emphasised that other members are encouraged to join any Room to listen to and join in the discussion.

The evening will start at 7:00pm with those who wish to join a Breakout Room logging in. You will then be able to select and enter the relevant Room. At 7:20 the attendees in each Room will be merged into the main meeting.

At 7:20pm members only wishing to participate in the main event can log in. The host from each Room will summarise the main matters that arose in their groups, following which the main event of the evening will proceed.

It is hoped very much that as many members as possible will participate in the different approach to the March meeting providing a wider range of topics and informal discussion.

Details of the Zoom meeting will be emailed to members a few days beforehand and will be in the Members area of the Shipston-on-Stour Beekeepers website.

WUSAT-3 – Satellite Wildlife Monitoring

    

WUSAT-3 – Satellite Wildlife Monitoring

by Bill Croft

Meeting is open to all WBKA Members and will be supplemented with Videos once  they are available.

Please register via the Zoom Link or contact Dave Bonner for further details.

Swarming: Prevention better than control?

Swarming: Prevention better than control?

by David Blower

Meeting is open to all WBKA Members and will be supplemented with Videos once  they are available.

Please register via the Zoom Link or contact Dave Bonner for further details.