Honey: Are we overlooking the bees’ needs?
We could probably survive in a world without bees, but it would be a poorer one.
It is nothing new to say that bees play a crucial role in supporting ecosystems.
In a world without bees, not only would we have to get by without their delicious honey, many of the food stuffs we currently enjoy would likely disappear.
Food insecurity would rise, and we would be financially worse off – bees contribute a significant chunk of money to the global food industry.
We also know they are in danger. The International Union for Conservation of Nature says nearly 10% of wild bee species in Europe may be at risk of extinction.
So, is sustainable beekeeping the answer? What does sustainability mean in this context? And is keeping bees, itself, inherently harmful?
Listen to the end for our guests’ favourite bee facts!
Paul Horton, Director, Bee Farmers Association
Paul is a commercial bee farmer of Apidae Honey and director of the Bee Farmers Association.
Nicola Bradbear, Director, Bees for Development
After completing her PhD at Durham University, and working for ten years at the International Bee Research Association, and lecturing on bees at Cardiff University, Nicola Bradbear founded the international not-for-profit Bees for Development.
This innovative organisation provides information on all aspects of bees and apicultural development to organisations and beekeepers worldwide. Bees for Development is now well-established with professional staff, international Trustees, high profile Patrons, and one Royal President!
Nicola has instigated bee research and development activities world-wide, collaborating with beekeepers in more than 50 countries. Bees for Development has received major awards for its work, most recently the Award for the Welsh organisation achieving greatest overall impact in Africa. Nicola is an advisor to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other international agencies, and has worked in many nations including Afghanistan, Chechnya, El Salvador, Eritrea, and Iraq.
Anne Rowberry, President, British Beekeepers Association
Anne is committed to developing beekeeping and improving bee husbandry; she gives lectures and practical demonstrations to other local British Beekeeper Associations, belonging to Avon herself. She believes strongly in getting young people involved in learning about bees and beekeeping and in encouraging an understanding of these wonderful creatures. Since taking early retirement, after a career in teaching and charity work overseas, she is able to further pursue her interests in bees and in Chelonia.
Anne has been a beekeeper for 12 years and run 20+ hives. During this time she has studied and passed all the modules and passed the practical exams to become a Master Beekeeper. She has also passed the Microscopy certificate.
She gives lectures, practical demonstrations and has run study groups for Modules. She is an assessor for the Basic, Bee Health, General and Advanced Husbandry exams. She sets and marks papers for the modular assessments.