Saturday was spent mostly at the Devon Apicultural Research Group AGM held at the Furzeleigh Mill Hotel at Buckfastleigh where, as usual, they fed us magnificently. Apart from the guest speaker, Regional Bee Inspector, Nigel Semmence (who couldn’t resist including photos of his granddaughter in his powerpoint) I was the youngest one present. Kingsley Law was keeping bees 2 years before I was born! I calculate that he must be about 82 and he may not have been the oldest there.
Chairman Richard Ball commented on this in his Report: “We must promote and advance beekeeping knowledge and expertise and lose the ‘old men’s lunch club’ image that persists.”, he wrote.
We are doing some real beekeeping activity. I have been taking part in Jim Slade’s project on foundationless frames which is to be the topic for our January meeting. Last year we did some drone marking as a prelude to seeing how far they stray. I wrote in yesterday’s blog of the intriguing speculation about viruses affecting queens courtesy of Varroa. All these things can involve playing with bees with a view to finding out more about them. If you want to come and play and natter about bees too, why not join us?
We are trying to move forward in practical projects, paper reviews and seminars and lectures.We had an excellent and successful seminar on bees and pollen only a few weeks ago.
You don’t have to live in Devon. I don’t. A decade ago people used to come from as far away as Leicester or Ludlow to attend DARG meetings occasionally. Most of the meetings are held at Uplowman near Tiverton at the east end of Devon so it is within easy range of several counties.
Our provisional programme is: January – foundationless frames; February – mini-nucs; March – the pros and cons of queen imports; April – post mortem on the winter that is now approaching us. These are not just ‘old men’s subjects’! If you’re interested, come along. To find out more, visit our web site: http://www.dargbees.org.uk