Jun 10, 2010
Following the last podcast about swarming, a number of people
asked me to write this subject up, so you will find a downloadable
file that is now available called 'The Barefoot Beekeeper's Guide to Swarming and
Swarm Management' on my web site at biobees.com.
This edition is rather different to anything you have heard before - mainly because I will not be doing much of the talking. Instead, I would like to introduce you to a remarkable woman who I met for the first time just a couple of days ago at a meeting of the Southern Counties Joint Consultative Council of the British Bee Keepers Association, where we had both been invited to speak about our use of top bar hives.
Those of you who know my history with the BBKA will understand that I went to this event expecting - how shall we say - a certain amount of resistance. There were no fewer that five BBKA ex-presidents in the room, together with a number of very experienced beekeepers who represented their membership right across the south of England, particularly the south west.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the willingness of the committee members to listen to what must have sounded to some of them to be rather radical ideas, and we had a very constructive and productive meeting.
Two - actually three - things of particular note came out of the meeting: first, it was confirmed that the BBKA does indeed plan to phase out its policy of endorsing pesticides as current contracts expire. I know many people will be pleased to hear that.
Secondly - and at least as exciting - two people present at that meeting, who between them pretty much control beekeeper education in the UK, agreed that it was time to include top bar hives in the BBKA training programme and have promised to do something about it - a major step in the right direction, I think you will agree.
The third good thing to come out of the meeting was that I had the opportunity to meet a remarkable woman called Adebisi Aderkunle, who gave an insightful and fascinating presentation about top bar beekeeping in Nigeria and about the Slow Food movement. Bisi reached beyond the points of disagreement there would inevitably have been around the table had I been the first to speak, and offered a thoughtful and disarming summary of her practices and her approach to natural beekeeping.
Bisi's presentation is the subject of this podcast, and I think you will enjoy it.