A REVIEW of Yorkshire’s weather in 2012 doesn’t make for happy reading, especially for the bee population.
Local commercial and amateur beekeepers alike registered diminished returns of honey and in many instances, keepers had to resort to summer feeding of bees to help keep the colonies alive.
However, despite the vagaries of the weather, Joe Jacobs, chairman of Ryedale and District Beekeepers, said there has been a strong renewed interest in bees, partly helped by media campaigns highlighting both the plight of the bee and its ecological and wider benefits. Joe said: “As a whole, our beekeeping membership has been increasing year on year, and there’s a strong demand for courses with ongoing training available.”
Joe is currently preparing for his next beginners’ course. He said: “There seems to be a great mix of people from wide and varied walks of life. Beekeeping really appears to be in vogue and has appeal for young and old alike.”
Each year throws up new challenges to the beekeeper, which are invariably never the same as the previous year.
Joe said: “Part of the ethos of Ryedale Beekeeping Association is that, through a lon-term commitment to training and education, many of the problems encountered with bees can be overcome.
“This year Ryedale members were successful in a grant application that enabled them to invest in training equipment and during 2013, the association will be offering several courses aimed at beginners and improving beekeepers.”
The next beginners’ course starts on February 11 in Kirkbymoorside, and will consist of six lectures leading towards outdoor practical work. For further details phone secretary Glenda Pearce on 01439 771613 or the chairman Joe Jacobs on 01944 758003.