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Launceston Beekeeping Group, Gwenyn Kernow submission March 2023

On the 22nd February 2023 20 of our members enjoyed a visit to the National Bee Supplies operation at Okehampton. One of the owners David Robinson provided an introduction to the company and explained some of the company’s history. A keen environmentalist he explained how the company minimised its carbon emissions and was active in planting trees on land it owned. Much discussion followed the description of the tree planting method used. He was experimenting with a system that required very dense planting of native saplings rather than the normal traditional planting with wide gaps between plants. Initial results suggested much higher levels of growth due to the natural competition between the saplings. In due course nature would decide which species became dominant but as the main objective was the removal of carbon this accelerated growth was seen as desirable. A tour of the site to see the conversion of Canadian cedar wood into hives and accessories followed. An explanation of each machine and part of the process was provided . No one will forget the lady who has the job of implanting the wire into the wax sheets we all buy. A much more manual task than I had imagined .The photo shows one of our members Chris Marshall having a go !

We were then able to view all their products and make purchases at a discounted rate. An enjoyable and interesting visit without any hard sell . I was struck by the warm welcome and the staff’s pride in their products and company.

We enjoyed our second inside meet of 2023 on the 10th of March. 20 members and guests attended Tregadillett Community Hall and saw Chris Marshall provide his experience of beekeeping on a budget. In true Yorkshireman fashion Chris looks for ways to minimise his costs by constructing as much of his hives and accessories in his own workshop often using scrap or cheaply sourced materials. He shared his successes and odd failure and his enthusiasm for his subject shone through.

Tea and cake followed and gave the opportunity for attendees to inspect thoroughly all the various constructions that Chris had brought along.

Our last inside meet before the Summer has now been set for Friday 28th April at the usual start time of 1930. Peter Hicks will lead the meeting and the subject will be More Than Honey. We will discuss the film of the same name.

On the 20th May 2023 we have pencilled in an outside event : a Bee Safari hopefully to involve our local Bee Inspector.

Other dates for your diaries are the Launceston Agricultural Show which is scheduled for the 27th July 2023 and the Callington Honey Fair scheduled for a Saturday (rather than the normal Wednesday) the 30th September..

Paul Burridge


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