By Oonagh M. Gabriel
I have been asked to comment on the ongoing debate on the Hitchin Bee Centre. Having read the dialog so far and feel I am treading on eggshells.
I can only base my comments on the articles that everyone else has seen and I have not seen the site.
Robin’s response, to Frank’s comments, says that North Herts committee was told the same day as Hitchin Council contacted him. Those involved should note that it was Hitchin that contacted Robin and not the other way around. I have not seen anything saying why Hitchin contacted Robin rather than North Herts BKA.
Derek Driver says ‘why not centrally in Hertford’. Why not, but it was Hitchin that offered the land not Hertford and Hitchin is not exactly Lands End. In essence the project appears to be a good idea but it will not run itself. If Robin, through lack of support, is left holding the proverbial baby then there should be no great surprise that he favours the Dartington hive. I wonder if William Broughton Carr suffered the same criticism as Robin is enduring now. If I had found myself in the same position as Robin I would have favoured the Jumbo Langstroth. Then there would have been those who would have said we must have Nationals. (Terrible hives: time we moved into the 21st century!).
The concept of the long, deep hive is not new. I have a few reservations on its design but, if you do not intend moving your hives about and follow the management techniques as recommended it is a very good hive.
Regarding the siting near allotments, I have visited an apiary south of the river that is actually on some allotments and I was given to understand that there have never been any problems. Maybe they have just been lucky. I admit to some concerns in these litigatious days but, I repeat, I have not seen the site. Perhaps eight hives is overkill but, again, I have not seen the site.
If it appears that Robin is pushing ‘his hive’ who can blame him? There would be no reason why other hives could not be on display but all working hives would have to be the same design. We all know the problems that mixing the different sizes and shapes can cause. If Robin is left doing all the management he is going to want his favourite hive, as I would want Jumbos.
I know nothing of fund raising but it appears that Robin was not asking for actual money just the support of a parent organization in order to apply for grants.
It is a great pity that a good initiative is in danger of floundering through what appears to ‘an outsider’ to be a clash of personalities.
I was at Stoneleigh at the weekend, on Exam Board business. Here is a photo of the BBKA apiary. Oh look, there’s a Dartington!