Jointly organised by Cornwall Beekeepers Association and
West Cornwall Beekeepers Association
Saturday 9th September 2017,
Truro and Penwith College, Truro,
This must have been one of the best ‘Bit of a Do’s’ that we’ve ever had. The venue, the Fal Building at Truro College, is great; the large, spacious area for the trade stands, and catering, and with room to meet and chat, was a really convivial back-drop to the whole business of the day.
We were really fortunate and privileged to have such excellent speakers not just of national, but international renown. This was totally confirmed for me by the quality of the question and answer session from the panel of speakers at the end of the day. You knew at once that all 3 of them (Clive de Bruyn, Margaret Murden and Clare Densley) were true experts in their field, able to give thoughtful, clear answers to every question thrown at them.
The highlights of the day for me were the two entertaining and inspiring talks from Clive de Bruyn. It’s great to extend our boundaries beyond our own little patch, and to gain some understanding of how things happen in other parts of the world, so his talk on beekeeping in Africa was fascinating – and relevant to us too. To hear him, a world expert and teacher on the joys of queen rearing (or raising) was a true inspiration for me. Next year I shall be out there with my ‘00’ paintbrush and head torch trying (again ) to produce better queens.
I was sorry to miss Margaret Murden’s workshop on bee genetics in which she explained and clarified this most complex subject. I heard it was extremely well received.
Dr Lena Wilfert’s very interesting – and very concerning – presentation of her work with pollinators, demonstrated the impact of varroa (and its associated viruses) on the wider world of bees. This may well have implications for agriculture and the whole ecology system, something which we bee-keepers must bear a large responsibility.
The main message of the day, echoed, one way or another, by all the speakers, was that it is vital – not just for our honeybees, but for the wider bee and insect population on which we all depend, that we beekeepers raise and maintain excellent healthy, local honeybees, adapted to our climate here- (whatever their colour or their pedigree!).
So many thanks must go to the organising committee, for making it all happen, so apparently effortlessly, and for giving us all such a marvellous opportunity to hear some truly great, inspirational talks.
By Jenny Lewis