David Burton gave a very enthusiastic presentation on bee keeping which kept everyone enthralled for over 90 minutes. He started by telling us how to distinguish a honey bee from wasps and bumble bees, then went on to describe the life of a bee which is surprisingly short - only 6 weeks in the summer and up to 9 months in colder seasons. He explained how the worker bees (who are all female) communicate by smells called ‘pheromones’ and do the ‘waggle dance’ to assess where the pollen is and how far they have to fly to get it. This can be up to 2 miles. Each colony has only one queen bee and her sole task is to lay eggs.
After learning lots of facts about bees and different types of hives, David with the help of a member of the audience (who dressed up in the protective white suit complete with zipped veil) used a smoker to pretend to quieten bees and then took apart a beehive, passing around the brood frames.
At the end of David’s excellent presentation, there were lots of questions for him and we all went away knowing a lot more about what you need to know to be a beekeeper.