There has been much talk over the last few years especially in the press regarding honey bees and the desperate need for more beekeepers but more importantly the need for more diverse forage in farmland areas of Great Britain is far greater. There has been such a great interest in beekeeping and more beekeepers taking up the hobby which has put further stress on the agricultural communities to feed these insects!
Unfortunately bees now have to compete with each other with the already scarce food supplies surrounding farmland and modern gardens. We need to encourage and educate more people to grow the correct plants and trees around fields, in towns and gardens so that all our wildlife benefits. As all plants and animals interact along the food chain what helps one will inevitably help another. For instance in 2012 was one of the worst years on record. Bad weather conditions prevented pollinating insects going out and setting the seed on many fruits and vegetables. During April-May bees only went out and foraged for about 1½ weeks. This in turn resulted in very few fruit crops such as apples and lower crop yields. This resulted in higher food prices.
Not only this there was a countrywide honey shortage as bees were starving over the summer months and very few beekeepers produced any honey for sale. Spring 2013 was awful yet again due to a late spring and many colonies perished. Average losses of 40% throughout England and Wales was recorded. However summer did finally arrive and turned out to be one of the best in a long time.
6 week Beginners Course presently being run every March-April by the Welwyn Beekeepers Association. Contact details can be found on Herts Bees website or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org