We held a combined Annual Dinner and AGM on the 15th January 2022 at Trethorne Golf Club. 23 of us tucked into a well prepared carvery and it was a pleasure to sit in a social setting and talk about all things beekeeping and non-beekeeping ( Boris provides so much entertainment!) Given the uncertainty due to Omicron we were pleased if not a little relieved that it could take place. We followed the meal with our AGM which was a combination of face to face and Zoom.

We are pleased to report that all posts have been filled for 2022 as follows:

Paul Hine; Chairperson and CBKA Council Representative

Richard Petherick; Vice Chairperson

Peter Hicks; Treasurer

Paul Burridge; Secretary

Sue Hoult; Education Secretary

Ex Officio

Phil Rogerson; Events Co ordinator

Vanessa Tyler; CBKA Council Representative ( also attends as Hon Treasurer)

Phil Rogerson ; Royal Cornwall Show Representatives

Mary Charteris; Asian Hornet Co Ordinator

We were also grateful to receive offers of help from Heather Rogers and Rob Slinger. Judith Milne has performed wonders with our website and she will continues to support the club in this way.


Having been pleasantly surprised at the number within the CBKA looking to take part in the Basic Assessment training as per previous communications Sue enrolled Bruce Henderson Smith in order to split the group into 2 classes. Sue completed her initial session on zoom with mainly the Launceston and Bude members on the 11th January with further sessions booked mostly at 2 week intervals until the end of March. I personally am taking part and found it very useful to be reminded of so much I had already forgotten!! The next session for us is on the 25th January.


For those followers of the BBC 2 programme Rick Stein in Cornwall our former Chairman Nick Bentham Green​, and Isles of Scilly beekeeper Jilly Halliday featured in the recently aired Episode 7 of Series 2. One of Rick Stein​'s research team contacted ​Jilly and Nick as they wanted to feature beekeeping and taste the local honey. Rick visited the Abbey Gardens, Tresco on the Isles of Scilly and there met Nick and Jilly. Nick and Jilly are ​running a 5 year ​Project ​to make beekeeping on the 5 Isles more sustainable by improving the forage on the islands as well as improving the existing honeybees so that they are better able ​to thrive ​in the unique Scillonian environment.​Nick last looked at a number of the colonies on the Isles in 2017, and noted that many were struggling and some were very badly tempered. In​fact, Nick still remembers to this day, sprinting across a field and taking shelter in a shed, from some very evil bees! So, during his visit in 2021, he was expecting the worst! However, he could not have been more wrong, the same colony (now daughter or even grand-daughter) was an absolute delight to handle. So, how has this happened? Well, we think that the bees, and in particular, the drones, are crossing the sea, between the various isles. It is our intention to prove this with the help of Plymouth University, Exeter University and the local schools.

​On some of the Islands honey yields have declined and the belief is that is as a consequence of​ the bees not being able to adapt, over a period of time to the unique Scillonian weather, in particular the long dry summers. ​This is more than likely because honeybees have been imported (but luckily from varroa free locations, Colonsay, and the Isle of Man). Another part of the Project will be to take an annual DNA sample from as many colonies as possible so that we can use the results to help the bees flourish, and develop a true, and unique, Scillonian honey bee. This feature represented an ideal opportunity to explain this work and promote the local Cornish black bee. The programme is excellent viewing and is available on the BBC I Player to those that missed it.

Photos show DNA Testing and Camera crew setting up.

We have our first “new” committee meet on the 16th February 2022. Our already booked meetings are detailed below (NOTE the change in subject matter for the February meeting) and we will be adding to this.

Friday 18th February Subject: Mind your beeswax – how to refine and use your wax

Friday 18th March Subject: Honey Tasting.... LBG beekeepers bring their own honey for the ultimate taste test.

Paul Burridge


Honey is known for its health benefits, full of nutrients, antioxidants and helping assist the body with many nature processes.

To enjoy the benefits derived from honey, it is important to know the purity. Without this knowledge, you can buy poor quality products. Many supermarkets sell fake and impure honey, very different to what the bees produce. Many companies have taken advantage of the rising popularity of honey, making it more important than ever before to know the differences.

What is ‘fake’ honey?

Fake honey is altered, however is almost impossible to tell from real honey when its packaged. There are many ways to spot fake honey, here are some things to look out for when determining whether honey is fake or not:


Real honey is not sticky if it is rubbed between your fingers, however fake honey is sticky due to the unnatural sweeteners added in its creation. This difference is easy to test and very noticeable.


Real honey is quite thick in texture, taking time to move, whereas fake honey is very runny and quickly spills, moves and travels. The best way to test this is to see how long it takes to travel from one side of a honey jar to the other, or to put some on your finger and see if it runs straight off.


Real honey has a mild and often floral scent. This smell can change with heating and cooling, however fake honey often has no smell at all, or can have a sour scent. Knowing the difference can take a little practice, unless you have both real and fake honey to compare against in the test.


When heated, real honey will quickly become thicker, not creating any foam. Fake honey, however, will produce bubbles and will never caramelize.

The bread test

Spread honey on a slice of bread. Real honey will harden within around 60 seconds. Fake honey will never harden, making the bread moist instead due to added moisture.


Real honey doesn’t dissolve in water, instead settling at the bottom of the water in a lump. If stirred, real honey can dilute over a long time. Fake honey dissolves instantly in water due to the extra added sugar.

Matchstick test

Dip a matchstick in the honey. If the honey is real, it will easily light after being immersed, however fake honey will stop the match lighting because of the high moisture levels.


Real honey will often include small impurities, with bits of pollen or discoloured particles included. Fake honey will have no impurities, being completely clear and a consistent, smooth texture.

Methylated spirits

You can test whether honey is real or fake by combining it with methylated spirits. When mixing real honey with methylated spirits, the honey will still settle at the bottom of any container. Fake honey will not do this, instead dissolving in the methylated spirit and making the solution appear milky.


The taste of real, pure honey only remains for a couple of minutes. Fake honey will have a taste which remains for a longer period of time as the sugar keeps the taste continuing in the mouth.


If you are purchasing from a store where there are labels on the jar, this is the easiest way to understand the purity of honey. Manufacturers are required to mention any additives or additional substances which are added into the honey they produce. Take a look at the label on the honey container, if there is one, and you can quickly see if anything has been added to the pure honey, and if it has, what it is.

The healing and health benefits of honey are best when in pure form, made from the bee and not altered in any way or through any manufacturing process.

Rick Steins Cornwall

Episode 7

Rick Stein's Cornwall Series 2 Episode 7 of 15

Rick boards the ferry in Penzance to take him to the Isles of Scilly, a group of islands which were once part of Cornwall. Here, he finds out about the islands’ rich history, including one of the Royal Navy’s worst shipping disasters in which 1,500 men lost their lives.

In the world-famous gardens of Tresco, Rick meets a beekeeper attempting to breed a native Scillonian honeybee to deal with the harsh Atlantic climate. This inspires Rick to cook a honey pudding with Cornish ice cream and a butterscotch sauce.