34 members present with apologies from I.Clark, J.Oldham & M.Hodges.

Notes from the Chairman - Norman Clyde-Watson .

  • John Appleton was thanked for all the work he had put into organising the wild flower planting project, from the distribution of seeds, the preparation of planting areas and the planting itself. Some 25 members including children participated over 2 weekends and we look forward to seeing the results.
  • Geoff Fewkes was thanked for arranging the visit to the grassland at Cromford. 8 members enjoyed flowers & scenery and recommended others might like to visit. Geoff has details).
  • The dates of the next working weekend are Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June -Bracken Bashing! (see newsheet for details).

Norman then introduced Mike Cross, a Derbyshire beekeeper, who gave a fascinating illustrated talk on the life of bees and how they manage hives and the colony comprising the Queen, matriarchal egg layer, the workers - infertile females and the drones - the idle males! Containing over 50,000 bees between May - Sept, worker bees raise larvae & produce honey ­ most of which is removed by the beekeeper as reward for his labours. The hive rests over winter and numbers fall (egg laying stops), but a new Queen is nurtured with Royal Jelly ensuring the continuity of the colony- and the human race, for without bees & the pollination of plants, we would not survive. Look after bees!!

After the talk, members were able to purchase honey produced from various sources from Mike.

There will be no meetings in July or August but members may wish to come together socially & informally at 7:30 at the Rosegrower, 1st Monday of these two months.

The next Meeting will be Monday Ist September at 7.30 and will be a general meeting (no speaker).

A few 'B' facts

  • Bees existed 60 million years ago.
  • Used for medicinal purposes by Greeks.
  • Wax used for candles - superceded by paraffin wax.
  • Bumble bees are not directly related to honey bees.
  • Bees mature in 20 day cycles.
  • If born in September they will overwinter but if hatching now will only live 2 weeks.
  • They are cold blooded and will die if cold and wet.
  • Bees 'dance' to indicate sources of food to other bees.
  • The higher the glucose content of nectar and honey, the harder it sets,
  • Those honeys with high fructose content (or runny) are Heather, Rosebay, Brambles & Ivy.
  • Main month of production of honey is July when the colony is at its largest.
  • There is only 1 Queen per hive - for up to 2 years.

    The Friends are always looking for extra pairs of hands to help out or to simply support their work, so...

  • to find out when the next work session will take place, click here, or
  • to find out about becoming a member please contact us here, or
  • to discover what goes into managing the sites click here.

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