The HBKA AGM took place in Tewin on 27th March.

Following the main AGM business (and lunch in the Rose & Crown) we had the pleasure of two interesting talks that lasted the afternoon.

Ray Smith spoke about the history of the skep beehive that had been used for thousands of years before the modern day hive perfected by Reverend Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth in 1851. A medium-sized skep takes Ray about 7 hours to make.

Ray Smith making a skep

  Peter learning how to make a skep

Following Ray's demonstration we had an interesting talk from Dr Juliet Osborne about her team's research work at Rothamsted. It is examining the multiple factors and the complexity of interactions between different factors affecting honeybee colonies, whether these are within the landscape or within the hive itself. The project involves both models and experiments.  The experimental part currently focuses on nutrition and disease, as these are two components that have been highlighted by a plethora of studies as playing an important role in honeybee colony health. The advantage of using a modelling approach is that they can explore the relative importance of, and interactions between, the multitude of factors that affect honeybee colony strength and survival in the landscape, without having to do experiments on each factor individually nor repeat studies for which a multitude of data already exists. For further information Juliet invited us all to the Rothamsted Open Weekend on 22nd & 23rd May.

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