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We will soon be into the swarm season again and the LBG can look forward to contacts from the public regarding swarms. As previous we will vet calls to ensure they are honey bees and not any of the alternatives. Last year we received relatively few requests will be interesting to see how many we get this year.

There is the usual mechanism in place via the BBKA to find a swarm collector ( we have 2 LBG members on that listing) but at this time of the year we contact all LBG members to see if they are willing to collect and/or home swarms. This will add options to assist me when I get a report of a swarm. Where ever possible beekeepers wishing to acquire a swarm should attend the collection of the swarm. If they are inexperienced this would be with a beekeeper experienced in the dark arts of swarm retrieval. We would encourage as many LBG members to "volunteer" on a no commitment basis as the BBKA listing is spread fairly thinly in the South West. There is a third option...we may have members who do not wish to home a swarm but want to gain experience of collecting swarms.An experienced swarm collector will often be grateful to have an extra pair of suitably equipped hands to assist.

I will maintain a list and then put the relevant parties in direct contact. Hopefully we can look forward to hearing from you! Please make plain whether you are willing to collect and home or just home.

Many thanks.


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


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