This year the West Cornwall Beekeepers Association is turning 70! To celebrate this we are very lucky to be joined by the Chairman of the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeder’s Association Will Messenger, who will be delivering two talks at the Passmore Edwards Institute Hayle (details below). Doors open at 1030 and tickets cost £4 (£2 for members) and can be booked in advance by contacting Heather Williams on 01736 850577 or by email on email@example.com. A pasty lunch can also be pre-booked at a cost of £3 (for information please see Birthday poster)
The History of Beekeeping in Cornwall (1100):
Will has a passion for beekeeping history and has carried out extensive research in to the history of beekeeping practices within Cornwall. Here he will present his findings and provide us with an insight into how Cornish beekeeping has developed in to what it is today.
Honey Bees as Wild Animals (1330):
‘There is no other hobby or industry quite like beekeeping. Other livestock are more or less domesticated-maybe pigeons are the other exception. Thus the beekeeper has to learn to understand the honey bee at a deeper level than is necessary to keep a cow or a cat and in any case cats and cows are mammals like us so treating them a bit like humans should be treated doesn’t go far wrong.
In recent years ‘natural’ beekeepers have sought to seize what might be described as a false moral high ground claiming that mainstream beekeeping is wrong.
This talk attempts to re-interpret some of our beliefs in what is right and wrong for successful beekeeping by focusing on bees as wild animals. I will look afresh at topics such as swarming/drone laying/laying workers/honeybee races and subspecies/robbing.’
As with all his talks, Will will incorporate basic beekeeping tips so that there is something for everybody, and will be ready to answer questions on any beekeeping subject.
Will was inspired to become a beekeeper (and take bees to the heather) by an aunt who lived within sight of Dartmoor and would tell him to ‘go and see if the bees have any honey.’ Finding her veil and smoker and working out how to use them was exciting. While training as a teacher, he was taught beekeeping by Maurice Calvert at Newton Park College. His first venture was wiped out by AFB and he regrets the loss of a dark strain that had arrived as a swarm. Following a career as a biology teacher, Will returned to beekeeping and is best known for his interest in beekeeping history. With Eve he currently operates 60+ stocks in the North Cotswolds. They are members of BFA and active in Gloucestershire BKA.