Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Bee in My Bonnet!

The latest bee blog from Martha Kearney. Follow the seasons and gain a unique insight into the world of beekeeping with Martha Kearney, BBC journalist and beekeeping enthusiast. Martha has raised awareness of the honeybee's plight, notably through the BBC 4 series “The Wonder of Bees”.

My hives have now truly become Bee List Celebrities. This weekend the society magazine Tatler came to photograph them for their feature called Pet of the Month.

I am not too sure about the lineage of my bees but Apis Mellifera does have a noble heritage. The Barberini family in Rome had a bee as their emblem. Napoleon picked one as the symbol of his grandiose coronation.

The reason Tatler was interested is because my TV series The Wonder of Bees begins on Monday April 14th, the first of four about the ups and downs of beekeeping in the course of a year. I thought we were doomed from the outset as it was so cold last year.

Under the expert eyes of John Everett, a master beekeeper from Norfolk, I was taught many new aspects of beekeeping from spotting disease to seeing a baby bee being born.

See video clip here

I also became much better at spotting the queen but I still find it very difficult to see eggs which are like tiny white threads in the hexagonal cells. John also showed me a way of controlling swarms but I'm not sure I am ready to follow suit. It involves clipping the queen's wings.

See video clip here

So did we succeed against all the problems of the weather and produce a jar of wildflower honey? Stay tuned......

You can find more information on the Facebook page The Wonder of Bees or on Twitter @wonderofbees

For related newspaper coverage see:

The Independent; To bee or not to bee

The Telegraph
; Archbishop of Canterbury - I talked to the bees

The Financial Times; Martha Kearney's bee list celebrities

Martha Kearney's full Bee Blog is available to view on the NFWI website here.

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