Beekeepers in Taunton are recognising the importance of the honey bee during National Honey Week (October 24-28 2016).
Peter Maben, Chairman of Taunton Beekeepers, said: “Local honey is a delicious and completely natural sweetener which tastes of the flowers which grow near the bees.
“Also, bees are vital pollinators within our food chain. One third of the food we eat would not be available but for bees.”
Currently local beekeepers are preparing their colonies for the winter and are exploring methods to protect their bees from the Asian hornet, a deadly predator which has been discovered north of the Mendips recently.
The group, which runs a teaching apiary at Bradford-on-Tone, is making preparations for its course for beginner beekeepers in the New Year.
Peter added: "The course has been run successfully for many years and continues to be popular as a great introduction to beekeeping.
“It provides a good grounding with both evening talks from experienced
beekeepers together with practical ‘hands on’ experience with our apiary beehives at Heatherton Park during the spring and summer."
The course costs £95.00 and starts on February 22 and includes six weekly lectures followed by practical sessions in the apiary throughout the spring and summer.
For more information contact: Mike Dillon, Training Co-ordinator, Taunton & District Beekeepers Association, firstname.lastname@example.org or 01823 669619/ 07585537030.
Taunton Beekeepers has nearly 200 members and works to advance the craft of apiculture and to promote general awareness and understanding of honeybees.
Honeybees face a variety of pressures ranging from a lack of suitable flowers to forage for pollen and nectar, the Varroa mite, disease, pesticides, poor weather and, this autumn, the Asian hornet which has been discovered north of the Mendip Hills.
Pollinators are responsible for one third of our food and contribute £200 million towards the national economy.
Bees fly about 55,000 miles, the equivalent of one and a half times around the world, to make just one pound of honey.
For more information visit www.somersetbeekeepers.org.uk