‘A journey into the healing hive’ was the subject of a talk by Dr Genny Brierly that I attended at Whitchurch Canonicorum in the murky depths of West Dorset last night. It was hosted by West Dorset combined with East Devon BKAs and getting on for 100 people were there, some having travelled much further than I did.

Doctor Brierly is a PhD and pointed out that she is not a clinical doctor so people shouldn’t try to cure themselves or others of illness without first consulting a qualified doctor!

Her interest in bees and the medicinal qualities of their products arose through her having contracted tick-borne Lyme Disease which debilitated her so much that she was moving towards death’s door!  Then she was introduced to bee sting therapy which turned the corner for her and slowly brought her back to good health, although this would have cost the lives of about 4,500 bees!

In the hour of her talk she went into details of venom, honey, wax, propolis, royal jelly and pupae.  I noted that she mentioned that venom smells of ripe bananas.  This must be why it is not considered wise to open a hive soon after you’ve been handling or eating a banana.  The scent of one sting triggers another.

It was an excellent talk and I would recommend other branches to get her to talk to them.  Her web site is:  .

As is usual at these events there was masses of excellent cake etc afterwards as we gathered and chattered, meeting old friends.  It was the ‘old’ bit that worried me as, looking round the room, the vast majority of those present were about my age!  What future is there for beekeeping with so few young people playing our game?


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Emily Scott says:

    I’ve noticed that beekeepers at meetings in the South West skew older than beekeepers in London. People go west to retire so that may be part of it. It’s also harder to get to meetings when you have a young family or work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s